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Villette Audiobook

Villette

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Charlotte Brontë's Villette follows protagonist Lucy Snowe as she bounces from one career to another. First a servant, then a teacher, the hapless Snowe is besotted by family tragedy and doomed romance. Eloquent performer Davina Porter imbues the hard-working Snowe with solemnity tinged by optimism. Indeed, as an unwed, working woman in 19th-century Europe, Snowe must struggle to define herself against the prevailing gender codes of her day. Porter, known for her painstaking attention to historical detail, captures the mannerisms and conventions of Brontë's characters, lending context and veracity to this striking case study of a Victorian woman’s prospects for love, happiness, and independence.

Publisher's Summary

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.

Public Domain (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (141 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
3.8 (122 )
5 star
 (48)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.2 (126 )
5 star
 (70)
4 star
 (30)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kristin 09-07-14
    Kristin 09-07-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    Story
    "You need to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    While I actually enjoyed this book, it is quite long. I also think you will have to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story. There is quite a few conversations in French, and for those of us who do not speak the language that is quite a challenge.


    Would you recommend Villette to your friends? Why or why not?

    This is a book for audible listeners who enjoy long classical stories.


    What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Davina Porter is a perfect narrator for this story. Without her excellent interpretation of the characters, it would be quite a challenge to get through the whole book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi 06-27-13
    Jodi 06-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great narration !"
    What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has fantastic french. She has specific voices for each character. She uses several different accents and pulls them off very well. She puts feeling and interest into her reading. I enjoyed Davina as a narrator.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 05-02-14
    Pamela 05-02-14

    Walking Gal

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    7
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    "Too much french"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a good book, however there's a lot of french in it. I can read french, but it was quite annoying to miss major plot points because they were read in french, Would have been useful, if not true to the book, to translate.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clearly our main character- I like how she took her destiny in her own hands and went for what she wanted.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Davina Porter?

    Noone- she's always great


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 09-01-13
    Jessica 09-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I couldn't believe..."

    that I managed to finish this book. I couldn't believe it was finally over. I thought it would never end. It went on .. and on ... and ON ... with very little plot to boast of, and characterization alternatingly overly subtle, then hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-hammer. This book was a chore, and one I'm glad is done.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda 03-19-15
    Rhonda 03-19-15

    It's always too soon to write a fair review of a great book when they always keep you thinking. 4 & 5 stars are worth repeat listenings.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Narration, a bit long"

    At the 18 hour mark, I was wishing it would wrap up. I realize this is the age it was written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Bolic 03-17-15
    Anna Bolic 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    "The Divine Ms. Porter delivers as always"

    A beautiful performance of Charlotte Bronte's highly under-appreciated (but best, in my opinion) work. Not just a reader who is good with dialects, Davina Porter is an *actress* who performs each book with passion, emotion, and full commitment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Reader 03-17-15
    B Reader 03-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    48
    23
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    "I don't enjoy Porter as a narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    There is something about Davina Porter's voice that grates on my ears and, although I believe she has a fine command of characters and narration I just can't get past that nasal tone when she says words like "deep." I've found that because of this I'm completely unable to listen to more than just a few chapters of the Outlander series.

    The novel was an interesting listen, however my high school French was no match for the amount of French in this book and I became aggravated that I missed out on much conversation that would have been good to understand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reademandweep 12-30-14 Member Since 2014

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OK for the diehard Victorian novel enthusiast"

    This certainly was no Jane Austen novel. It's rather uneventful, and dreary but if you love language as I do, you may like just the sound of it and Divina Porter is the best

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen L. 03-16-16
    Karen L. 03-16-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    33
    16
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    0
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    "Good book, memorable characters, perfect narration."

    Picture this: a tiny young girl, regarded by some as a pest, likes to crawl up onto the lap of a sixteen-year-old boy she isn't related to--while he is studying--and he lets her! Endearing characters! You're hooked right here in one of the first chapters. You know you'll encounter these characters again later, but focus shifts to Lucy, not as endearing, but a sympathetic character, nevertheless. Through her, we get accounts and judgements of other characters: teachers, students, priests, a doctor, and a school administrator. Also, we watch her search for her voice, her self, and finally, her place.

    I'm glad I also got the Kindle for two reasons. First, it helps to have the French in text. Davina Porter's French is perfect, but I like to have the spelling, just in case I need to consult my French dictionary--and an English one, too, since Bronte's vocab can stump anyone. A second use for the text is to flip through a few pages at a time to get past metaphors that go on and on to describe the weather in terms of some shenanegans of Apollo and other celestials. (Bronte is much better with imagery than with figurative language.)

    I don't always like ambiguous endings. The reader shouldn't expect literary justice, not for all the characters. As in life, some never learn--because they never have to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon E. Ross Garden City, GA United States 02-10-16
    Jon E. Ross Garden City, GA United States 02-10-16 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
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    "Very good romance novel."

    I love Davina Porter's performance. If you speak some French, you won't feel as left out as I did in some parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Annie
    Brentwood, United Kingdom
    5/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delivery is all."
    If you could sum up Villette in three words, what would they be?

    This is a classic and worth reading for that alone. It also gives a social history.

    For me it was spoilt by unenthusiastic reading and by not including a translation of some of the most important parts of the text which was, at times, in French. I have heard this done by footnote references and this would only be needed where the French is relevant to the plot etc.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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