Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Giveaway and Review: Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler

Becoming Jane Eyre is a beautiful story of how Charlotte Bronte wrote her masterpiece, Jane Eyre. Charlotte is alone with her invalid father in Manchester when she is compelled to begin writing her second novel. She flashes back to different experiences in her life including her time as a governess and time spent as a student and teacher in Brussels. The tragedies and passions in her life find themselves transformed into a fictional tale with just enough truth behind it to become a very original novel. After Charlotte and her father return to Manchester, she finishes Jane Eyre.

Charlotte is more than a bit saddened when her first novel, The Professor, is rejected, while her sisters’ novels, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey are accepted for publication. Ironically, Jane Eyre is printed by a different publisher before her sisters’ novels and it is the fame of Jane Eyre that propelled the sales of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. Sadly the happiness of Charlotte’s newfound fame is offset by numerous family tragedies.

I enjoyed this novel immensely. I especially loved the scenes of sisterly bonds and friction when the three Bronte sisters are working on their novels and awaiting publication. To have so much talent under one roof is just amazing. The love and yet the jealousy of each sister and their talent is written very believably.

The only part of this book that I did not enjoy was that it ended so soon. The main focuses of the novel are the writing, publication, and first flush of fame with Jane Eyre. The novel then skips to the end of Charlotte Bronte’s life. I wish there would have been more details in this last portion of the book, but I also realize that the main focus was on the creation of Jane Eyre.

I really enjoyed the “Penguin Readers Guide to Becoming Jane Eyre” at the end of the book. The Reader’s Guide included an enlightening interview with Sheila Kohler as well as a book club questionnaire. I was thrilled to see that Kohler used Lyndall Gordon’s biography of Charlotte Bronte (Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life) as an inspiration for Becoming Jane Eyre. A Passionate Life is my favorite Bronte biography.

Overall Becoming Jane Eyre is a fascinating look into the creative process that Charlotte Bronte may have used to write her masterpiece. I highly recommend it to all Bronte lovers!

This is my first novel and second item for the All About the Brontes Challenge. Courtney from Penguin Books was kind enough to provide a copy of Becoming Jane Eyre for a giveaway as detailed below. There is also a companion book that contains the first published works of the three Bronte sisters. Details and a giveaway will be on this blog tomorrow so stay tuned!

Book Source: A review copy from Courtney of Penguin Books. Thank-you!

Giveaway Details
Courtney of Penguin books has been kind enough to offer two copies of Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler for this giveaway.

If you would like to enter this contest do any of the following (and make sure to mention each item that you are doing in your comment for me to use to determine your number of entries):

1. Leave a comment on this post. You must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner. (1 entry)

2. Blog about this giveaway or post about it on your sidebar. (1 entry)

3. Become a follower or leave a comment that you already are a follower of this blog. (1 entry)

4. Leave a comment if you are a part of the All About the Brontes Challenge. (1 entry)

There are four ways to enter, but you can put all four entries as one comment.

I will be using random.org to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday February 5th.

Good luck!

69 comments:

  1. Oh, I saw this book in Costco and almost bought it! Please enter me :)

    +1 muse_in_the_fog@hotmail.com
    +1 Sidebar http://muse-in-the-fog.blogspot.com/
    +1 Follower

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. this sounds very cute

    already a follower

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been seeing good reviews of this--it sounds interesting! :)

    I'm a follower.

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd really like to read this (even tho I am not part of the challenge!). Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    And, I'm a Follower.

    And, I've blogged about this giveaway here: http://tiny.cc/VYcon

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Count me in!

    I am a follower, and I am signed up for the All About the Brontes Challenge.

    mhill314@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Please count me in.

    I follow.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sign me up!

    +1 runaway84(at)gmail.com
    +1 Link to this givaway on my right sidebar: http://christysbooks.blogspot.com/
    +1 Already a follower.
    +1 Signed up for the Bronte Challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would love to win this! Thanks.
    +1 laura(at)laurafabiani(dot)com
    +1 I am a follower

    ReplyDelete
  9. I so want to read this!

    +1 chrisbookarama at gmail dot com
    +1 A follower in my Google Reader
    +1 Doing the Bronte Challenge.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice review, Laura, and I would love to be entered in the contest.

    I am a follower already.
    I am signed up in the All About the Brontes challenge.
    joannemccabe9(at)cox(dot)net

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This would be a real treat to win.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I follow your blog.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

    denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a big Jane Eyre fan, would love to win this book. Thx!

    +1 jenma76(at)hotmail(dot)com
    +1 (new) follower of your blog

    ReplyDelete
  15. I want this book very badly!

    I'm also a follower.
    And I'm part of the All About the Brontes Challenge.
    englishmajorjunkfood(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful giveaway!

    +1 follower
    +1 Bronte challenge participant

    fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Please count me in. Thanks for the chance.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would love to win this book!

    I am a follower. :)

    I've posted about this great giveaway in my blog's sidebar.

    suko95(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Please enter me. I am a follower.

    squiggles87(At)aol(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds like a fascinating read! Please count me in. Thank you.

    I am a follower...


    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know next to nothing about the Brontes amd would love to read this to learn.

    tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT ca

    I follow your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would love to win this. I am a follower.
    laura.leahj@gmail.com
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would like to be entered!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Follower!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Please count me in too!

    shereadsandreads(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. It sounds great! Please include me in the giveaway! Thanks.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please enter me-I follow your blog in Google reader and am in the Bronte Challenge (and have posted my first review there)

    thanks

    rereadinglives (at) gmail (dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Please enter me.
    I am a follower
    thank you
    kaiminani@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am part of this Challenge and am loving it! I'm planning on reading a book from each sister, and knew there was another book recently out that I wanted to read, this is it! Hope I win!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Please enter me! vvperesk@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I follow. vvperesk@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. This sounds terrific.

    I'm a follower and part of the challenge.

    litandlifeATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  34. This book sounds great to read after Jane Eyre.

    wakeupangel at gmail dot com

    I put link to the giveaway in my sidebar here-
    http://banicontests.blogspot.com/

    I'm a follower, name is Bani.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

    I am a follower of your blog.

    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. this sounds like a good read please enter me & thx for the contest..
    thehighflyer3(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great giveaway; i am a follower:

    bostonredsoxfever AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Please enter me in giveaway I have posted this giveaway here:
    http://celticladysramblings.blogspot.com/

    Thank you
    Momkelly2003@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Please enter me - thanks!

    +1 follower

    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jane Eyre...one of my favorite characters. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance.

    +1 I'm an old follower.

    miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm a follower. nancysoffice at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. My students will love a chance to analyze this for historical accuracy.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I would love this book as it looks like a great read. I follow through google friend.- x1

    ReplyDelete
  44. Please enter me! I am a follower.
    Marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

    thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  45. +2 entries. I'm a follower. I would love to win this!
    Marci
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sounds like a great read!

    +1 alannakurt at gmail dot com

    +1 Posted on my sidebar: http://thedmlibrary.blogspot.com

    +1 I'm already a follower =]

    Thank you so much =]

    ReplyDelete
  47. lovesreading at gmail.com
    I am a follower!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm a follower! Enjoying your blog and would love to be entered in your giveaway for Becoming Jane Eyre. Thank you.

    Sandee61

    Muzzley56{at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I just found your blog and I love your reviews. This certain is my genre of books.

    Please enter me!

    nicolmontero at gmail dot com

    I am a follower

    I'm going to join the challenge!

    Hope to win!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Please enter me- I would love to win this.
    ~Jen Unsell
    unsells{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Please enter me. walkerd@primus.ca

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am a follower. walkerd@primus.ca

    ReplyDelete
  53. please count me in...thanks

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. This looks so great! Please add me to the contest!

    +Follower
    +All About the Brontes challenge participant

    Thanks for hosting another great giveaway!

    ~Laura

    pardontheinterruption78@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Jane Eyre is a favorite and I've been itching to get my hands on this book. Please enter me.
    stacybooks at yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  56. Please put me down for three...

    1-for this comment
    2-I follow your blog
    3-I am part of the All About the Brontes Challenge

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'd love to enter the contest!!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 sidebar link here: inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I love books and I love visiting these book lovers blogs.

    If I happen to win this wonderful giveaway, contact me through my wordpress blog.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This sounds like a wonderful read and I thank you for allowing me the chance to win a copy.
    +1 knittingmomof3 (AT) gmail (DOT) com
    +1 I am indeed a follower.
    +1 The contested in posted on the right side of my blog.

    knittingmomof3 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  60. So I went ahead and blogged about your great giveaways. So please put me down for another entry!

    You can check it out here:

    http://emileehope.blogspot.com/2010/02/few-giveaways-in-blogland.html

    ReplyDelete
  61. +1 comment: Great giveaway!
    +1 follower
    +1 in All About Brontes Challenge
    kghobbs@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. love love books, I hope that i win. here is my eamil mariescozycorner@hotmail.com and I am following you. I love that you are giving books as your giveaway.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. I would love to read this.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'd love to read this book. It would be interesting to learn more about the Bronte sisters, especially about Charlotte as she is my favorite out of them three.
    elena.cacahuete@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Became a follower (Elena Shkinder-Gugel).
    elena.cacahuete@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. This giveaway has now ended. Winners will be posted shortly.

    ReplyDelete