Helen is a complex heroine. I could not help but be moved by her strengthand resourcefulness in the face of the growing disaster that became her marriage. I also found the sequence where she planned her "great escape" exciting and suspenseful, even though I knew it would be a success.
It is slightly flawed in that the end ties up a bit too nicely, and the tension between the narrator and Helen withers a bit by the time the book ends. However, the same criticism could probably be made of the other more well-known Bronte books.
Though probably the least memorable of the Brontë novels I've read thus far, The Tenant... stands on equal ground with Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. This was the most realistic of the three, and certainly controversial for the time. It was a very bold novel, and for this reason alone it carries as much weight, if not more, as her sisters' more fanciful works.
Bold story in its time. Great read.
The structure of this story told through letters and diaries is an engaging and, I expect, a fairly unconventional method in 1848. Despite the language and mores of 150 years ago, the story is as chillingly relevent today in it's portrayal of the manipulation and mind control exerted by an abusive husband over an intelligent woman.
Another eternal favourite of mine by the Brontes.
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