I am not sure how funny this book was supposed to be, but I thought it was pretty funny.
It’s kind of standard fare: she’s young and she INSISTS on leaving home to become a governess. Turns out kids are hard to deal with and she’s not very good at it. That’s ok because there’s a handsome young minister she has met literally one time who will come over and charm her and alls will be well.
It’s a really short book, but it felt like a Charlotte Bronte novel shuffled together with a Jane Austen novel, and the result was cleaned up for publication. It’s fairly entertaining and well-written, but it feels like it’s lacking some kind of core something….some thing that it’s got to tell you.
The Brontes are weird like that, of course, because they all wrote young and died young, but Wuthering Heights feels so desperately different from Jane Eyre and so maybe I was looking for something that would stand out in that way.
Well, anyway, here’s the parts that made me laugh ( I should mention I am an English teacher, so maybe that’s it):
“In vain I argued, coaxed, entreated, threatened, scolded; in vain I kept her in from play, or, if obliged to take her out, refused to play with her, or to speak kindly, or have anything to do with her; in vain I tried to set before her the advantages of doing as she was bid, and being loved, and kindly treated in consequence, and the disadvantages of persisting in her absurd perversity.”
“What must I do? If I followed them, I should probably be unable to capture one, and only drive them farther away; if I did not, how was I to get them in? and what would their parents think of me, if they saw or heard the children rioting, hatless, bonnetless, gloveless, and bootless in the deep, soft snow?
While I stood in this perplexity, just without the door, trying, by grim looks and angry words, to awe them into subjection, I heard a voice behind me, in harshly piercing tones, exclaiming,
‘Miss Grey! Is it possible! What in the d—–l’s name, can you be thinking about?
‘I can’t get them in, sir,’ said I, turning round, and beholding Mr. Bloomfield, with his hair on end and his pale blue eyes bolting from their sockets.
‘But I INSIST upon their being got in!’ cried he, approaching nearer, and looking perfectly ferocious.
‘Then sir, you must call them yourself if please, for they won’t listen to me,’ I replied, stepping back.
‘Come in with you, you filthy brats; or I’ll horsewhip you every one!” roared he; and the children instantly obeyed. ‘There, you see! they come at the first word!’
‘Yes, when you speak.'”