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Publisher's Summary

From Syrie James, the best-selling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a novel that captures the passionate heart and restless soul of Charlotte Brontë—the author who gave the world Jane Eyre while longing for a soulmate.

©2009 Syrie James (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“James makes sense of the events of Charlotte’s life, tells a story that captures the language and feel of the times, and keeps the novel moving at a fast pace … a captivating and entertaining read.” (Feathered Quill Book Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    325
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    170
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    39
  • 2 Stars
    16
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    4

Performance

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    330
  • 4 Stars
    126
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    31
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    296
  • 4 Stars
    137
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    41
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    16
  • 1 Stars
    5
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Twice a year

This is my absolute favorite book and an audio narration!!! A lovely, sad, witty, and engaging heart full story of the challenging life of one of the most famous writers, it captivates the reader from the opening sentence and holds firm until the last word. I highly recommend this marvelous book that I listened to twice a year, and have just finished for the fifth (!) time. Normally, I never re-read books.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 05-28-12

Wonderful story and great narration

If you know anything about the Bronte sisters, or the Bronte family and have enjoyed the writings then I suggest you get this book. I was so drawn in by the emotions of the family interactions and the feelings of love and loyalty. The narrator Bianca Amato did a wonderful job and I was so very touched by this piece I went back to re-read the Bronte sisters works. Thank you Audible this is one of your best.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

Every emotion - from tears to chuckling outloud make listening to this book entertaining and fun. It opens a door into, not just life at the time of the Bronte's, Charlotte's struggles and adventures in her life, her writing and styles of her times. I was glad Syrie James included senerios of accepting the plight of being a woman at that time, working around its handicap and the start of slow progression to change women's status. Don't miss this book!

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Man, what a good book

What made the experience of listening to The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed it immensely! Even if you aren't into the Bronte's books, this is good on it's own.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly joyful experience

Would you listen to The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte again? Why?

I rarely re-listen to audiobooks, so it's doubtful, but I did truly enjoy this book.

What did you like best about this story?

I was completely unfamiliar with the life of the Brontes going into this, and the book brought the characters so much to life that I developed a real interest in them, an interest which has continued even after I've finished the book. I felt that all of the characters were people dear to me, and I was sad when the story ended. Excellent character development.

What about Bianca Amato’s performance did you like?

The narration was amazing. All of the voices were done skillfully and were distinct from one another. I would have never read this book in hard copy, and it was the voice of Amato in the sample that made me purchase it. The book exceeded my expectations, but Amato's narration enhanced the story immensely.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

All of the above. I was invested in the story and its characters.

Any additional comments?

I do not generally like Victorian-era literature or anything associated with it. Jane Austen puts me to sleep. This book was a rare purchase for me, perhaps because it was written so recently. Either way, I am reassessing my opinion of Victorian literature.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • Milwaukee
  • 04-16-14

what a lovely story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would recommend this audiobook to a friend, and if I could convince a man to read it...a man friend.

What other book might you compare The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte to and why?

I cannot think of another book that compares other than any Charlotte Bronte novel as parts of the diary of her life appear in her books.

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

Her voice is truly 19th century English with a slight Irish accent...she does accents very well...and for a woman to do a man's voice...she's remarkable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no..not one moment, many moments and they all tie into one another.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Regina
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 07-31-12

scratched my historical romance itch

If you could sum up The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte in three words, what would they be?

Lovely, lovely, lovely

What other book might you compare The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte to and why?

Jane Eyre

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

Great accent on the love interest. The men all sound very different. Great skills

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Charlotte Bronte's tragic lovestory

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J-9
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 01-31-13

A TRUE GEM

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte to be better than the print version?

The story is so wonderful and so well written that I would think that the print version would be an excellent option. However, Bianca Amato does an amazing job in bringing the characters the life.

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that it was a true story about an amazing person and her family. I usually do not like true stories and I bought this book several months ago and had put off listening to it - what a mistake that was. The story of Charlotte Bronte and her sisters whom she loved so much has touched my heart.

Which scene was your favorite?

This is a hard question. As I run through the various scenes in my mind, there are so many that I will probably never forget. I enjoyed Charlotte and Mr. Nicholas first walk together and the discussion of exactly what he said at the dinner table that made her hate him for so long.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I stayed up until 2 in the morning listening to the book when I got to the part where her brother and sisters die within such a short amount of time with one another and I sobbed. It was so sad that these young, talented people died so young.

There were several places in the book where I smiled to myself and even laughed, but I think the most extreme would have to be the death of her family.

Any additional comments?

AMAZING! FANTASTIC! WONDERFUL! Touching! Sweet! I loved this story and I know that I will listen to it again.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 06-11-17

I fell in love with the Bronte sisters.

I have read the reviews by others who had difficulties with the author's retelling of Charlotte's story because of the inaccuracies. If I were a Bronte scholar - If I were even a Victorian Literature scholar - I might feel the same and therefore deduct a star. However, this book was my introduction to the Bronte sisters. I had never read any of their works or any biographies about them. And this book made me fall in love with them. That fact alone makes me feel it is worthy of 4 stars. And because of this book I have already read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre is up next, so 4 stars may be stingy.

Bianca Amato's voice was beautiful. I do not know whether the accent was correct, but as a modern day American it sounded right to my ear. I found her voicing of the sisters to be strong and unique, which seemed to be the right choice for their characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 01-28-15

Bittersweet but Worth It

Sometimes this read a bit like a Jane Austen novel, which was strange, because that really wasn't the Bronte style. But it was so interesting to see the whole family story and the publication story, and the love story, all in one place. I'm glad I listened.

Also, the narrator is one of my favorite narrators, which is how I found this book! Its worth it!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful