by Finola Austin
Undoubtedly when readers see the name Bronte, they think about Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. But, Charlotte and Emily were only two of the Bronte siblings. Among them and others, they had one brother Branwell; he is the focus of this story based on some historical facts.
Sister, Anne, had a job as a governess. Branwell became a tutor to a child in that same family. As a result, he met Lydia Robinson who was over ten years his senior. She was a woman reeling from loss, a difficult marriage and a controlling mother in law. As the title of this novel tells readers, she became Bronte’s mistress. What happened to them and this relationship will surely interest readers of historical fiction.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
Some other opinions:
“[A] meticulously researched debut novel . . . In a word? Juicy.” —OPRAH MAGAZINE
“A convincingly multifaceted picture of Lydia, a smart, passionate woman who is caught between her own thwarted desires and the gears of society’s conventions. Austin grounds her book in research, but it’s the entirely fictional letters she intersperses throughout the book that truly bring Lydia and many of her other characters to life. Austin has written a stirring defense of the maligned Mrs. Robinson, and who can say if it isn’t also the truth?” —THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR