This morning I finished "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte.
Full disclosure, I love "Wuthering Heights" (Emily Bronte) and hate "Jane Eyre" (Charlotte Bronte). Unfortunately, Anne is more like Charlotte than Emily.
Why, oh why must love be so messed up? I understand requited love. I understand embittered love. I don't, however, understand ridiculous love.
The main characters make poor choices in first love. One incredibly so. If I am to believe that the heroine of the story is to be trusted as wise and virtuous, then why would she marry a manipulative philanderer? Why would I want to read page after page of a husband degrading his wife and then questioning her fidelity and love and then laughing at her goodness and then teaching their son profanity and then flouncing off to London for months of carousing only to return for more manipulations and disrespect?
Finally, the heroine runs away with her son to live as a widow in a country community. She falls in love with the male main character and what does he do? Attacks her brother because he is in a jealous rage. Even after his misconduct came to his attention, he continues to be jealous and question the heroine's love...but then neglects to write her for over a year.
I call shenanigans on the entire book. One might say, but Claire you like Austen, doesn't she write about the craziness of love? Yes, but Austen creates characters you can actually care about.
If I am going to have a mostly tragic tale, hand me "Wuthering Heights". At least then the love would feel real.
"Words, with him, are so much cheaper than deeds."