The Vanished Bride
Author: Bella Ellis
What I’m Talking About:
Let me start by saying I am a HUGE Brontë fan. Every October I read either Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre like it is my job. They are the perfect introduction into fall and Halloween and all things dark and melancholy. So I went into this book looking for things to nit-pick. I was certain Ms. Ellis would leave me wanting, or worse yet, misrepresent or slaughter the name of Brontë. I am THRILLED to report that was not the case with The Vanished Bride.
At the risk of sounding cliche, The Vanished Bride hit all the right notes. It has just the right number of nods and references to the Brontë Family and their works, remaining true to the talents and memories of the Brontë Family, especially the sisters, without reading like fan fiction or a poorly executed knock off. Ms. Ellis has clearly done her research about the sisters, the era, and all other things Brontë and sprinkles this information into the novel without making it feel scholarly or biographical, but still gives the reader fantastic easter eggs into the Brontë lives. Even as a long time fan and English major I still learned interesting tidbits.
The characters are all well written, smart and humorous with just enough of the darkness that one associates with the Brontës. Ms. Ellis kept The Vanished Bride moving a quick pace while still allowing her characters to be true to themselves.
I found all the characters to be a perfect balance of opposites, much like the characters in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre; they are dark, magical, humorous, and thought provoking. It interesting to see the sisters interact with the various secondary characters as they work of unfold the mystery of the Vanished Bride. Never do they overshadow the other characters but each brings her own truth, experience, and color to the story.
Despite all my misgivings, I wholeheartedly recommend The Vanished Bride, especially this time of year. It is a perfect walk through the moors on a cool, fall afternoon and it was the perfect introduction into my annual retreat with the Brontë sisters.
My Rating: A, Loved It
About the Book:
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…
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Series: Brontë Sisters Mystery #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Format(s): hardcover (304 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley