The book started with a letter by Gilbert Markham describing a mysterious widow with a young boy named Arthur, of no known acquaintance or lineage who moved to a nearby dilapidated mansion, Wildfell Hall. The lady is called Mrs. Graham who liked to stay aloof and didn’t savor the company of her neighbors. Her son remained indoors mostly in her vicinity. Who was this woman? What made her protective of her son?
As opposed to Charlotte, Anne’s writing style is a bit different. She focused on the plot line more than the characters. Because none of the characters had distinctive disposition except the protagonist. Helen was quintessential, resolute, dignified and stubborn too in her own way.
True, she made mistakes but she endured the consequences with grace and perseverance. However, her pacifism somewhat seemed dragged as the book became slow paced. For this, I can say that not to forget the book was written in a different era altogether.
Sometimes, while reading a 19th-century classic one unintentionally look forward to the romantic aspect. Surprisingly, this book was solely centered around Helen’s story which was refreshing to me as I didn’t expect it and was engrossed in her life through the diary.
On the other hand, Gilbert and Helen’s relationship was a loose end for me because as a reader I couldn’t comprehend how and when did they fell for each other after everything Helen had been through and knowing what Gilbert had perceived of her.
In spite of excellent language and writing, this book remains a 3.5 star for me. This is not the first Brontë which you should read but surely you can read it after reading Charlotte’s or Emily’s works.
Let me know in the comments if you have read this book.