Becoming Jane Eyre traces Charlotte's writing of her famous novel, her efforts to publish it, and how its success changed her life. It also shows Emily and Anne publishing their first novels before her, only to be eclipsed by their sister's success. Their father's health problems and their brother's mental disturbances also play significant roles.
I really wanted to like this book, but alas, I didn't. It was well-written, thought-provoking, insightful, and intelligent. I feel now as if I knew a good bit of what life was like for Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. I sympathize with them greatly. Kohler did a masterful job of weaving the Bronte novels in with their lives, showing how reality influenced story for them, and vice versa. It was quite fascinating, really.
But I didn't like it solely because there was the occasional sordid passage that would sort of pop up unannounced, though none of them involved the sisters themselves. These were entirely unnecessary, jarring, and made me blush. So now you know.
However! Sheila Kohler did make one observation that I loved, and I'm hoping I remember to bring it up again during the JE read-along. Here it is:
Jane must choose between love without marriage or marriage without love (p. 147).
Not the entire point of the novel, but for part of it, that's huge.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: R for explicit sexual material, and alcohol and drug use.