The Bronte Plot          -     By: Katherine Reay
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The Bronte Plot

Thomas Nelson / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Rare-books dealer Lucy sometimes uses questionable business practices---and it's ruined her relationship with her boyfriend, James. When she joins her client Helen on a trip to England, she discovers more than just famous writing haunts. Will she step out of the fairy tale she's been living in---and learn how to love in the real world? 336 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1401689752
ISBN-13: 9781401689759

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Author Bio

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at katherinereay.com Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay

Publisher's Description

"You’re going to love The Bront Plot." —Debbie Macomber
When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Bront Plot sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of impossible circumstances.

Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. While it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

Editorial Reviews

'Reay's latest is an enjoyable trip to Europe. . . the redemption of the characters is heartfelt and the plot is unpredictable.'
“Great works of literature and other priceless antiques populate Reay’s thoughtful tribute to the Brontë sisters. The moral ambiguity makes the story more modern than its premise would suggest---and proves how well its source material holds up over time.”
'Quotations and allusions flow freely in Reay’s third tribute to the female giants of English literature . . . the finely drawn characters, flawed and authentic, dominate and ground the story emotionally. Lucy realizes that her beloved Brontë characters know more about God and grace than she ever suspected. Fans may find themselves unearthing their classic novels after savoring this skillfully written homage.”
“Reay interweaves classic book characters and references, colorful descriptions, and tantalizing depictions of British literary/artsy tourist spots with a captivating, romantic storyline. Recommend to lovers of excellent storytelling.”

Product Reviews

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  1. Bedford,Texas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    The Bronte Plot--Katherine Reay
    March 15, 2016
    Madeover
    Bedford,Texas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    From the back cover . . .

    When Lucys secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

    Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucys secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, Jamesleaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

    In a sudden turn of events, Jamess wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucys predicament better than anyone else.

    As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helens wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Bront sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, enduredeven in the midst of impossible circumstances.

    Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevailif only she can step into the life thats been waiting for her all along.

    I loved what author Debbie Macomber had to say. . . "Katherine Reay is a remarkable author who has created her own stub-genre, wrapping classing fiction around comtemporary stories. Her writing is flawless and smooth. Her storytelling meaningful and poignant. You'r going to love The Bronte Plot"

    I loved that reading The Bronte Plot compelled me to go back and read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I have never read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (for info. on The Bronte Family click here.)

    This was however a bit a slow read for me. I really didn't develop a strong attachment to the characters.

    I really wasn't sure how I felt about the characters. It was kind of a heavy read.

    If your a lover of classics and literature you'll enjoy this book.

    For more information about the author and her other books click here.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Literary Field Trip Turned Journey of the Soul
    February 15, 2016
    Dawn Teresa (ReadLove)
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    True Rating: 4.5 Stars

    At first glance, Lucy Alling appears to have it all: a job she loves, working with an in-demand interior designer at his shop, Sid McKenna Antiques and Designs, and success in her newest venture, Book Day, where she highlights rare books she procures to sell at the store. Lucys love and passion for books, especially Victorian literature like the Bront sisters, is palpable. When she meets a customer named James and the two immediately make a connection, it appears that, in addition to career success, Lucy has found true love. The trouble is, she has a secret. And if Lucys secret gets out, she could lose everything.

    While reading Katherine Reays description of Lucys shop environment, I was right at home. Because of her enthusiasm even reverence for books, I instantly felt a kinship with Lucy. Honestly, Ive no bigger literary romantic soft spot than Jane Eyre. So when James buys Jane Eyre for his grandmother and he and Lucy share literary conversation, Im sold on them as a romantic pairing. When I sensed that Lucy was up to something unethical, I couldnt help but groan. This wasnt going to be wine and roses it was going to be a bumpy ride.

    The Bront Plot brings together two women: Lucy and Helen (James grandmother). When Helen hires Lucy as a consultant on her trip to London, the two discover that though they are at opposite ends of the spectrum in age and familial upbringing/status, they have much in common. Most significantly, each has made mistakes and has a past that she must make peace with.

    As Lucy and Helen spend time together, they become more than travel companions. As each unpacks her past, fraught with questions, mistakes, insecurities, and regrets, Lucy benefits from Helens wisdom. Unlike the older woman, Lucy has many years ahead and an opportunity at hand to right her ship and change course.

    As the pair visit historical landmarks and places of literary significance, Reay makes frequent reference to authors and their works, most notably the Bront sisters and their ability to endure the circumstances that life handed them. Lucy wonders if she can press on like the Bronts, or whether, like some of their characters Heathcliff and Katherine, for instance her past has doomed her present and future. Is sin passed from one generation to the next? Has she inherited her fathers worst qualities? Worse yet, is she predestined to repeat his mistakes?

    Fortunately, with The Bront Plot, Katherine Reay uses the flawed characters of Lucy and Helen to remind us that God is a God of mercy and second chances. Inspired by Helens personal journey of atonement, Lucy finds the strength and hope she needs to make peace with herself, make good on her mistakes, and author a future unencumbered by her past. Her most important lesson: All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next.

    Verdict: 4.5 of 5 Hearts. Enjoyable and Edifying. A Literary Field Trip Turned Journey of the Soul.

    Come along with Lucy and Helen as they fly to London and traipse through literary landscapes, examining history and their own lives. Katherine Reay uses her own realistically imperfect characters, and draws on inspiration from some of her literary favorites, to shape The Bront Plot into an engrossing and thoroughly satisfying journey of heart and soul.

    *Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    The Bronte Plot
    February 2, 2016
    Jeanine
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for The Bronte Plot, Large Print.
    I wasn't sure what to think of this book based on the title. I have never read the Bronte sisters works so I had no basis to draw from. Basically, the story begins with Lucy, an assistant to an antiques dealer, who is secretly altering the value of the books she sells by adding a note to each book to inflate their value. When she sells one of her books to her boyfriend, James, her ploy is discovered and he breaks it off with her. But his grandmother, who the book was purchased for, pays a visit to Lucy and makes an offer to have Lucy travel with her to visit the town she lived in when she was young. Helen, the grandmother, had a secret of her own and time was short to make it right again. I enjoyed the story but I would probably not read it again. It was more of a time filler than a book that really resonated with me. Some of the plot twists were well done, but I never really connected with the characters.

    This book was provided free of charge for the purpose of review. The opinions are my own and do not reflect any other offer or opinion.
  4. Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A little lighter on the Bronte aspect than I was expecting
    January 24, 2016
    ADFehl
    Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Lucy Alling works in a home decor shop specializing in antique or otherwise collectible items. Lucy's department is rare books. For the longest time, she garners her boss's praise and admiration for her ability to always keep the shop so well stocked. When information comes to light putting Lucy's sources into question, it doesn't take long for everyone to turn on her, including her new love, James. Surprisingly, James' grandmother specifically requests Lucy to accompany her on a shopping trip to England. It's on this trip that grandmother Helen reveals some secrets of her own, hoping to show Lucy that everyone's got their skeletons in closets, doesn't mean they can't rise above it and it doesn't mean a person is forever unworthy of love.

    What worked for me: How am I not going to love elements like rare books and a trip to Bronte country in England? :-) There's a ton of classic lit. references written in, so if that's your thing, you're bound to read through this one pretty quick. I also really enjoyed the characterizations -- well, for the most part anyway. While the conversations between Lucy and Helen were enjoyable and even thought-provoking at times, the romantic, playful banter between James and Lucy grated on me after awhile.



    What fell flat for me: I think my biggest issue with the story is that, as much as I wanted to, I just could not bring myself to like Lucy that much. While her minor crime against books did get under my skin some, I could see it being forgiveable with time. What bothered me more was how she continued with the lies, and then whenever she'd get caught or at least backed into a corner, she'd just made some sort of pouty face, cry and moan a bit and then everyone around her seems to be apologizing to her and giving her free stuff to make her feel better!! I also didn't find the romance between Lucy and James all that palpable, though the word "soulmate" got flung around like crazy. Lucy gets some brownie points for trying to set things right near the end, but then it was lost again for me with that seriously cheeze-tastic closing scene.



    I will say though, I now really want to run off to England and tour the Bronte Parsonage!

    FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
  5. Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Prepare to be delighted...
    January 22, 2016
    Blooming with Books
    Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Bront Plot

    By Katherine Reay

    Lucy Alling loves a good story and she loves to tell one on occasion. Combined this makes her perfect for her preferred career - a seller and procurer of rare books in a Chicago shop. But Lucy is hiding a secret - a secret that may change everything for her and not necessarily for the better.

    Lucy is determined to move past her mistakes, but to do this she must first put her past behind her. But how does one move on from what was to what will be? Lucy is about to get some unexpected help from Helen Carmichael her ex-boyfriend's grandmother.

    Helen has secrets of her own and a past that is linked to Lucy's. As these two women seek to overcome the past and its mistakes they will discover the strengths that can be found amidst the pages of heroines of old can be discovered even today.

    Lucy and Helen are both burdened by the choices that they have made. And prompted by current circumstances they set out on a journey that will bring healing by reopening old wounds.

    Kathleen Reay has a talent for bringing the truths from classic favorites into our world. The road not traveled is often just as important as the one we chose. The question we must ask ourselves is why did we chose the path we did? What was our motivation?

    If you are looking for a story that can just take you away for awhile this one can do it. But be forewarned you may be tempted by that all too common trap of Just one more chapter. This book is worth the sleep deprivation though.

    I was provided a copy of this book through the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.
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