Sometimes I don’t see the point in reviewing classics but a contemporary perspective is always useful. Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë contains very similar themes to her sisters. Nonetheless, her penmanship is enticing and unique.
Agnes Grey is the title character and narrator. Her father becomes depressed and she wants to help out financially. She uses her privilege of being educated to become a governess. She tells the reader about her experience, the often degrading way she was treated. But all comes to a happy (and predictable) end when she marries.
Some of the descriptions and ideas in this book are quite dark and gruesome. Brontë writes of one of the young boys continuously wanting to kill birds. It depicts the type of children she was dealing with well but it was honestly quite shocking to read!
There is also some subtle hints of feminism, but not too much that it would have outraged the public at the time. Brontë sheds a light on the mistreatment of governesses which I would assume would have caused at least some stir from other governesses to change their rights.
Like I previously said the match between Agnes and Mr Weston was predictable. When the heroine falls in love but doubts anything will happen it’s almost inevitable they will hastily marry. So while I saw it coming, it was still enjoyable to watch it all unfold.
Agnes Grey has some beautiful descriptions and if you want a short book similar (but not as incredible as Jane Eyre) you should definitely pick this up.