Book Thoughts: “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë (#4- I Finished!)

(In this post I share the thoughts that have impressed me the most upon finishing “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë. Please be careful if you do not wish to be spoiled on any details within the book. You are always welcome to come back and share what stood out to you. 😊)

“The story is told. I think I now see the judicious reader putting on his spectacles to look for the moral. It would be an insult to his sagacity to offer directions. I only say, God speed him in the quest!” (Chapter XXXVII)

This story was such a delight. Overall, it was quite different from Villette and Jane Eyre in terms of plot. However, the craft and style was still the same.

One of the things I was intrigued about this novel was that it would be written in the third person. I wanted to see how it would play out. I was so used to her first person writing and being within the main character’s mind, I wasn’t too sure I would like it. But Charlotte Brontë still managed to create such an engaging and even entertaining narrator. I loved it! A few moments that stand out to me were when the narrator engages us to peer over Louis Moore’s shoulder to get a glimpse of what he was writing. That was fun. Or when the narrator would delight over the choice of words she would use. Or, when the narrator suggested that it was not necessary to read a whole chapter. Not read a whole chapter? I don’t think so lol. Of course curiosity got the best of me, and I read it. And of course, she was right it wasn’t really necessary to the story but I’m still glad I read it. There were other ways she engaged us as a reader but those are the ones that come to mind for now.

Another thing that stood out to me was how colorful this book was throughout with the descriptions of different flowers. I’d often go to google and look up the flowers she would mention so now I have images of beautiful flowers saved to my phone. Towards the end, I realized that the narrator was telling the story of a setting in time that no longer existed. The place as described in the story no longer looks as beautiful due to the changes brought about by industrialization. I think that’s why there may have been a lot of descriptive writing which I enjoyed. Although, I still don’t understand exactly who was telling the story but it was interesting how it was revealed towards the end. All I know is that she was talking to someone named Martha, a housekeeper but not sure who the person speaking might be. I wasn’t sure if it got the impression that the narrator was related to Caroline or Shirley or simply knew of them. I would have to reread to see if I can understand.

Lastly, Shirley. She won my heart. I love how particular she was about who she would marry because she knew that she wanted to be instructed by this person. She wanted him to be benevolent and have good judgement. My favorite part was her exchange with Louis Moore when they expressed their feelings for one another. I especially loved what Shirley said:

“Mr. Moore,’ said she, looking up with a sweet, open, earnest countenance, ‘teach me and help me to be good. I do not ask you to take off my shoulders all the cares and duties of property, but I ask you to share the burden, and to show me how to sustain my part well. Your judgment is well balanced, your heart is kind, your principles are sound. I know you are wise; I feel you are benevolent; I believe you are conscientious. Be my companion through life; “be my guide where I am ignorant; be my master where I am faulty; be my friend always!” (Chapter XXXVI)

There were many other things that I admired about this novel but for now, these are the things that impressed on me the most.

“Her book has perhaps been a good one; it has refreshed, refilled, rewarmed her heart; it has set her brain astir, furnished her mind with pictures.” (Chapter XXII)

Thank you for reading!

Book Thoughts: “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë (#3)

(In this post I share some of my thoughts after finishing chapter 17 in Shirley. Please be careful if you do not wish to be spoiled. You are welcome to come back and share your thoughts if you do get to reading Shirley. 😊)

“Oh, that is soon remedied!” exclaimed Shirley: “we’ll make him bid us good-bye.”

“Make him! That is not the same thing,” was the answer.

“It shall be the same thing.”

Miss Keeldar makes me laugh. I love how starkly different Caroline and Shirley are. Caroline is timid and reserved while Shirley is bold and speaks her mind. However, they both really appreciate one another and seem to compliment each other well.

One thought that has stuck with me since my last book thoughts post was, if Shirley was a representation of Charlotte Brontë “alter ego” and Caroline being a loose representation of her. From what I’ve read about Charlotte, she is often described as someone who was shy. I wonder if this was her way of speaking her mind, through characters like Shirley. I also found it interesting how one reader (Brontebabeblog) commented in my last post that she has noticed glimpses of Shirley from Charlotte’s juvenilia.

It’s been fun to read Shirley with this idea in mind, that perhaps Shirley is just stating what Caroline wants to yell after her disappointment with Robert Moore leaving without saying goodbye, “We’ll make him bid us goodbye.” Although, she does express her complete disapproval, about following after him to make him say goodbye, to Shirley afterwards. Which Shirley, seems to start picking up on Caroline’s odd distance towards her cousin, Robert Moore.

“I consider you very timid and undemonstrative,” remarked Miss Keeldar. “Why did you not give Moore your hand when he offered you his? He is your cousin; you like him. Are you ashamed to let him perceive your affection?”

One thing I am a little confused by is Shirley and Robert Moore’s relationship. I’m not sure yet if their relationship is more than friendly or strictly business. I can’t tell and I wonder if Charlotte Brontë created this ambiguity on purpose to create some kind of tension. It could be so because it has me quite intrigued.

Another thing that stood out to me was Mr. Hall. I like his character and how he responds to the dissenters who were trying to interrupt their march which of course Shirley was determined to teach them a lesson too:

“Bad manners!” said Shirley, “and I hate bad manners. Of course, they must have a lesson.”

“A lesson in politeness,” suggested Mr. Hall, who was ever for peace; “not an example of rudeness.”

I’m still trying to refresh my mind on some of the other characters since I stopped reading Shirley for a while. But it has been fun to pick it up again. I love how Charlotte Brontë does such a great job at helping us understand different characters so well and how they relate to one another, like Hortense and how she greeted Caroline:

“Hortense received her former pupil with a demeanour of more dignity than warmth. She had been seriously offended by Mr. Helstone’s proceedings, and had all along considered Caroline to blame in obeying her uncle too literally.

“You are a very great stranger,” she said austerely, as her pupil held and pressed her hand. The pupil knew

her too well to remonstrate or complain of coldness.”

Those are some of the things that have stood out to me in this chapter. If you would like to add or share your thoughts, please do. Thanks for reading!

(Some) Books I’ve Read

For the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to Books We Have Read. It’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing so far. This site is dedicated to informal reviews and anyone is welcome to contribute their own thoughts on any books they’ve read. I invite you to check out their page and share any of your thoughts on any book you’ve recently read. You can also simply browse around and see if you find any book you’d like to read next.

I’ve compiled a list of the posts I’ve been able to contribute so far:

Delirio by Laura Restrepo

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I hope to add more to this list and update this post as time goes on. I’ll also leave a link to this post on my “About Me” so that it is easy to find.

Thank you for reading. 😊

Excited For Victober

There is a readathon that was announced on Booktube, it’s called Victober, that I’m really excited to participate in this year. It consists of reading Victorian Literature throughout the month of October. I’m so excited for it! I don’t know how to express it through a blog post.

Here are the links to the announcement videos from each of the hosts of this readathon along with their recommendations, in case you would like to participate. 😊

Kate Howe: https://youtu.be/z5fFUPDZdhc

Books and Things: https://youtu.be/gRavImuUH_0

Beyond the Pages: https://youtu.be/T3MMp2rkw1Q

Lucy the Reader: https://youtu.be/Za2gTU2u7sY

I think I’ve already decided what I’d like to read. The general challenge is to read a Victorian novel and watch an adaptation of it. For this challenge, I’ve chosen to read Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve already started this one so I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to finish it.

For one of the other challenges, to read a Victorian novel with a proper noun as the title, I’m hoping to read Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. Another one that I’ve started and I’m hoping to finish.

And lastly, I’ve chosen to listen to Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, which I hope fulfills the challenge of reading a novel by one of the hosts favorite authors. I’ve never read a Thomas Hardy novel but from what I heard, Hardy writes a lot about nature so I’m excited for that part. I’m hoping his writing has some autumnal feels to it.

Let me know if you are thinking of participating and what books you hope to read. If you have read Thomas Hardy before, please let me know your thoughts on his novels. Thank you for reading!

Book Thoughts: “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë (#2)

In this post I share my thoughts after reading up to Chapter 11.

Please be careful if you don’t wish to be spoiled of any details if you haven’t read Shirley. If you do get to read, please come back and share your own thoughts. 😊

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“We are going to see Miss Shirley Keeldar.”

Enter in, Miss Shirley. Finally! 😊

We finally get to meet Shirley. Up until this sentence, there had been no mention of Shirley. I knew that she would come up later on in the book but I wasn’t sure exactly when and I was really excited for her to be introduced out of nowhere.

Caroline has been going through a hard time emotionally because of her unreciprocated affection for her cousin, Robert Moore. Caroline tried communicate to her uncle, Mr. Helstone that she was not doing well emotionally and was in need of a change of air. As usual, he doesn’t take her thoughts seriously but she continues to bear with him with patience.

Even though, he doesn’t take her thoughts seriously, it seems there is a part of him that is concerned about her emotions. So, he asked Caroline to come with him to visit Miss Shirley, who is the new property owner of Fieldhead in hopes that her company would do Caroline good.

I really enjoyed meeting Shirley. She seems very straightforward but not in a mean way. For example, she asked Caroline why she looked so pale. It didn’t seem like she asked in a manner to offend her but out of serious concern. This is how Shirley responds when Mr. Helstone explains that Caroline has been wanting a change of air:

“She ought to have one. You ought to give her one. You should send her to the sea-coast.”

Overall, in their exchange she doesn’t seem to be passive, like Caroline, or rude either.

I also found it interesting how Charlotte Brontë created a tense moment when Mr. Moore was brought up in conversation and Shirley was asking Caroline many questions about what he was like. As the reader, we know that he is the reason Caroline is not well but Shirley doesn’t.

Their visit was a short one but I am really looking forward to see how Caroline and Shirley will relate to one another and hopefully develop and good friendship. It would be interesting because Caroline seems to be very passive while Shirley is more confident in expressing her thoughts. I wonder if it will help Caroline’s depressed spirits. It’s also interesting to notice the contrasting situations they find themselves in, Caroline as dependent of her uncle and Shirley independent and property owner. I wonder what these things mean in their time and culture.

Those are my thoughts for now. I’d love to see how these curiosities will be answered as I continue to read. If you have read Shirley and have any thoughts you’d like to share, please feel free to do so. & if you haven’t read Shirley, you can come back and share your own thoughts if you do. 😊

The Mystery Blogger Award

I want to thank Emily who nominated me for this award. It is my first award and it was really nice to receive this kind of recognition. I’ve really enjoyed her work over at her blog. She is studying English at university and is soon to finish. Some of my favorite posts are her analysis and reviews on books, they have been helpful to me. I also enjoy her poetry, her recent A-Z list of poetic devices, and her short story series. If you enjoy literature, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy her blog.

Rules:

1. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2. Tell your readers three things about yourself.

3. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.

4. Nominate 10-20 bloggers who you feel deserve the award.

5. Ask your nominees five questions of your choice (with one weird or funny one).

6. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma.

Three things about me:

1. I was studying to become an English and Math teacher but decided to discontinue to dedicate myself to caring for my home and raising my children.

2. I have never read a Jane Austen book! I hope to.

3. I’ve translated one published children’s book to Spanish. 😊

Questions Given by Emily:

1. I’m going to start with a weird one. So, if you had to choose a favourite word, what would it be? You don’t even need to explain why you like it if you don’t feel the need to – simply, what is your favourite word?

I’m sure I have others but this is the first one that comes to my mind: gilded

2. Are there any ethical issues that you feel particularly strongly about?

This one was a tough one to answer because each opposing view on ethical issues (such as: sexual morality or abortion) doesn’t seem to fully represent where I stand on an issue and I also still have much questions to ask (through discussion) on these issues so I can fully understand. But I think I will go with what Jesus taught: loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And loving your neighbor as yourself. I believe this to be the ultimate form of morality and justice.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now (completely free of charge), where would you choose?

Colombia! I’ve traveled there several times to visit family and lived there for a very brief time. I absolutely love it. I love the food, the music, the language, the vibrant people, the landscapes, the rivers, the homes, etc etc. I would love to visit the coast.

4. Do you have a favourite modern author? By “modern”, let’s say from the 1950s onwards (I’m an English student, so anything after this time is modern in my mind).

Sylvia Plath! My favorite poem by her is “Morning Song”. She’s the one that caused me to fall in love with words and what you are able to do with them.

I don’t know many other modern authors, so if you know of any others please let me know. 😊

5. Is anything bothering you? (I know, it’s vague, but it’s a question). This can be personal, political, or whatever you like – what’s on your mind?

This one is also tough because it is something I’m still trying to understand. My answer would be the state of Christianity in America.

Questions for my Nominees:

1. What do you know or believe about Jesus Christ?

2. What was the motivating factor for starting your blog? Or where did the passion that inspired your blog begin?

3. What is your favorite comfort food? (This one might be the weird question lol)

4. What is one thing that brings you joy?

5. What is one thing that irritates you? 😬

My Nominees

I nominate Brontë Babe Blog. As someone who has been really into reading Charlotte Brontë recently, this blog has been such a gem. My hope in mentioning this blog here is that others may enjoy the work that she has in her blog. She brings to light earlier works by the Brontë’s, particularly those written in their childhood.

I also nominate my good friend, Shelly. I’ve known her since junior high school and recently reconnected with her. She started up a blog recently and is now back on a fitness journey. For anyone who is interested in following her journey, I would highly recommend her blog. She also takes the time to research and write about the things she is learning.

To my nominees, please feel free to answer all, some, or none of the questions. My hope is that others can enjoy your blog too. 😊

(P.S. I could not think of 10-20 bloggers to nominate. I don’t consider myself an experienced blogger but I am glad for the few blogs that I have found)

Book Thoughts: “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë (#1)

In this post I share my thoughts upon finishing Chapter 7 in the book Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. If you have not read it, please be careful as I discuss events within the book and my thoughts/questions relating to those events. You are welcome to come back if you decide to read and share your thoughts. If you have read it, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. 😊

I’ve been really enjoying this book so far. There are several things that stand out. One of them is the writing. I always enjoy Charlotte Bronte’s writing. I don’t think I’ve come across another novel writer as artistic and poetic as she is. Shirley, unlike the other novels I’ve read by Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre and Villette) is written in the third person. I was so intrigued to see how this would play out and I must say I love it. What has been fascinating to me about her third person writing so far is how she is not a passive story teller. At one point, the narrator addresses one of the main characters, Caroline.

“Yes, Caroline; you hear the wire of the bell vibrate; it rings again for the fifth time this afternoon. You start, and you are certain now that this must be he of whom you dream. Why you are so certain you cannot explain to yourself, but you know it. You lean forward, listening eagerly as Fanny opens the door. Right! That is the voice—low, with the slight foreign accent, but so sweet, as you fancy. You half rise.”

This was another part where the narrator breaks into the story and adds a sort of tension lol. The narrator makes a strong remark about Caroline bringing up her parents to her uncle in a conversation they were having. They were not seeing eye to eye in this conversation so she decides to mention her parents and the narrator says:

“Her father and mother! What had put it into her head to mention her father and mother, of whom he had never, during the twelve years she had lived with him, spoken to her?”

I thought that was so funny. 😆

Another thing about her writing, that I like, is her use of personification which I’ve seen Charlotte Bronte use in Jane Eyre and Villette. In Villette, I remember her personifying wisdom and imagination, I believe. I noticed that she capitalizes the first letter of the idea she is personifying. Here she personifies experience:

“Alas, Experience! No other mentor has so wasted and frozen a face as yours, none wears a robe so black, none bears a rod so heavy, none with hand so inexorable draws the novice so sternly to his task, and forces him with authority so resistless to its acquirement. It is by your instructions alone that man or woman can ever find a safe track through life’s wilds; without it, how they stumble, how they stray!”

There is a lot more that I’ve appreciated about her writing. I love the way I have gotten to know the characters as they relate to one another. One thing regarding her characters, that has also stood out to me is Caroline’s affection for her cousin, Robert Moore. That does seem odd to me. Are they directly related? Or do they simply refer to one another as cousins?

I also love how she was describing Caroline’s social anxiety when company came over. 😆 I could relate so well to the fear of small talk and having to entertain your guests. Caroline also feels so strongly about books. She also has great hopes in being a good wife, specifically to Robert Moore.

Through the characters, I’ve also learned how differently she relates to her uncle and Mr. Moore as she expresses her opinions. Her uncle does not have patience or care about what she has to say or think while Mr. Moore seems to value her opinion and encourages conversation.

That might be all I would like to share for now. If you’d like to share anything relating to the chapters I’ve read, please feel free to leave a comment. Do you know of any novels that are written in the third person where the narrator has personal reactions and commentaries to the story he or she is telling? There really is so much more these chapters had to offer that I enjoyed. 😊

A Study On Walking Without Sin

I would highly recommended this video to any Christian who is seeking to mature in their faith. It’s quite lengthy. But please take the time to listen, pause as needed, examine what’s being said to see whether or not it’s true, and reflect along with your bible. & if you do not have a Bible, you can follow along the Scriptures within the video. Discussion and comments are encouraged within the comment section of the video.

We Can Live a Life Without Sin (Part 1: Oppositions)

My Apologies

In one of my posts, last week, I said I was hoping to post regularly and I set out a schedule for my blog. I was hoping to commit to this schedule.

I haven’t stuck to my word on this, so for that reason I’d like to apologize for anyone who might have been following.

It doesn’t seem like at this season in my life I will be able to commit to anything else (at the moment) other than raising my two little girls and caring for our home.

Again, my apologies for giving my word on something and not following through.

Biblical Thoughts: Ephesians 1

This is the first post of a series of posts where I hope to share a chapter of a book within the Bible and highlight any verses that stood out to me along with personal reflections and questions. The questions and personal reflections will be within parenthesis. I also hope to add an update later on at the end of each post as I gain more understanding on anything I may have had a question on. (EDIT: I won’t be able to post weekly as I had initially intended but I hope to continue these series as time permits)

My hope is to examine my own thoughts/beliefs, what I’ve been taught, or other doctrines etc by reading the Scriptures to see what is true:

“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Ephesians 1

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless (chose us in Him before everything on earth was formed, to be holy and blameless) before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, (what does it mean to have redemption? Perhaps to be restored to what God wanted us to be from the beginning; restored through the blood of Christ) the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, (what is the mystery of His will? I think it might be that he would redeem us through Christ) according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, (listened to the message of truth and believed) you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit (when you have listened and believed the message of truth and gospel of salvation, you are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit) of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (I desire a spirit of wisdom and revelations to have more knowledge of Him) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, (eyes of your heart enlightened to know what is the hope of His calling) what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (I understand that the riches of the glory of His inheritance is to walk in holiness but if there is more to understand, I would like to know more!) and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Knowing that His power surpasses greatness gives me great hope to know that He is able to keep me holy and without blame until Christ returns) These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (the strength of His might was brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand giving Him ALL authority) far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, (Where were all things in subjection to before? Or was it never subjected because of sin?) and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:1-23 NASB

Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions that I can also examine regarding this chapter or regarding any thought or question I had.

I hope this may be edifying to anyone who reads!