Title: The Vanished Bride
Author: Bella Ellis
Pages: 352 Pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…
Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters—the Brontë sisters—learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.
These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines—it’s seeing what is not there.”
As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…
I have a firm belief that you are either an Emily girl or a Charlotte girl (sorry Anne). If you read work by the Bronte sisters you will fall into either camp and it usually depends on which you read first: Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. I, myself, am a Charlotte girl. I love Jane Eyre and for me it is the book form of a comfort blanket. It is the book I return to every few years and still fall helplessly in love with the heroine.
I have always thought that the life of the Bronte sisters must have been incredibly limited. The era in which they lived offered few opportunities for women and from what I did know about them beyond their work was limited. Therefore, it is brilliant to read a book like The Vanished Bride that affords the Bronte girls the chance to have excitement and a life filled with intrigue and mystery. Bella Ellis has really opened my eyes to how interesting their lives may have actually been. Granted, it is a fictional retelling but the story does have elements of truth in it and also uses historical accounts to help develop these writers into fully formed women which I found myself ignorant of.
The story of The Vanished Bride is really well told. It shows how the sisters were unable to quell their curiosity and had an opinion on what was right and wrong. It has all the elements needed for a gothic story and is in fact just a jolly good romp of a mystery. It is definitely worth a read.
The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is available now.
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