Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: The Mist on Brontë Moor

Title: The Mist on Brontë Moor
Author: Aviva Orr
Publication date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Source: author

Rating: 4 stars

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When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. 

Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage. 

Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.

Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

This book started out as an enjoyable and fluffy read, but holy crab cakes, that ending was an emotional gut-puncher that I did not see coming!!

The Mist on Brontë Moor was a refreshing blend of time-traveling, contemporary problems, and historical figures. Heather, the protagonist, was a narrator that I really enjoyed. She is diagnosed with alopecia, a medical condition that causes her hair to start falling out. Her voice was really relatable and I empathized with her fear of losing all her hair--I think most girls would be quite frightened at that thought! My favorite part about Heather was that while she had insecurities about her alopecia, about what everyone (boys especially) would think of her, but she was not a whiny character.

As for the Brontës, I loved reading about them! It's one thing to learn about Jane and Emily Brontë in my English class and another to actually see someone take bits and pieces of information about their personality from primary sources and bring them to life in this story. Branwell, the Brontë brother most people overlook, is given a spotlight in this book as the troubled yet charming love interest, and despite the fact that I thought his and Heather's romance was a bit rushed and unrealistic, I quite liked reading about his character.

This book had me hooked right from the get-go and once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. I haven't read a whole lot of time traveling books, but I thought this book handled the subject really well. There wasn't a huge deal made about the time traveling, it just sort of happened. The transition between Heather being in the present and her taken to the past was very smooth and I really appreciated that. Also, side note, but I thought it was brilliant that each chapter started off with a piece of Emily Brontë's writing.  :)  Definitely introduced me to some more of her poetry.

Before I end this review, I just have to talk about the ending a little (no spoilers, I promise!) because it was just so.... perfect! Not in a happily-ever-after kind of way, but in a realistic and right kind of way that just gave me so many emotions!! Ye-ah, in case you can't tell, I really liked the way Aviva Orr ended this book.

All in all: really enjoyed this book, and I'd definitely recommend it, if not to people who like the Brontës, then to people who like a fantastic protagonist, an English countryside setting, and a fast-paced story-line.

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