I decided to go into this blind because I was too lazy to read about about the book first. I know it's a Bronte. I've only read one Bronte book, Jane Eyre, and was sort of meh on that. But I'll pretty much read anything if we're doing it as a readalong and this fulfills my goal for the year of reading stuff older than me. Well, and reading books by non-Americans, but reading something by a UK author isn't all that impressive either. Anyway, hey this book!
I have no idea what's going on.
Lucy Snowe is living with her godmother Mrs. Bretton. One day this little girl (Polly), who I kept thinking was somewhere between the ages of like 2 and 10 because they describe her being carried like a baby but then also have her using better English than I do. Which mostly leads me to believe Charlotte Bronte has never actually seen a child, or at least it had been a really long time because what? Are any kids like Polly? Turns out she's 6. I made a point of highlighting that so I could go back to the line whenever I'm like "WTF, this isn't how 6-year-olds act" to remind myself that, regardless of how she might act, this is apparently how old she's supposed to be.
Polly is not happy to be there because she misses her dad, which is a reasonable response from a kid. Especially when the dad is like "LOL later kid" and drops her off at Mrs. Bretton while he does stuff. I mean, I guess he's getting settled somewhere but man, Victorians were totally fine just dropping their kids off wherever. Polly is distraught and says overly-dramatic things
"I am good, but I ache here;" putting her hand to her heart, and moaning while she reiterated, "Papa! papa!"
Lucy leaves Mrs. Bretton not long after Polly leaves, but I don't now why (do we know why? Did I just miss it? Or do they not tell us?) and for a little while works for an old sick woman, until that lady dies. She goes to a family friend and hears that there is work for Englishwomen in foreign families and at this point does nothing with that information, but it seems that is going to be coming up in later chapters. Instead she heads to London with the last of her money and realizes maybe that wasn't the best idea so she cries and cries. End of chapter 5.
Will Polly and her dad and Graham show up again? I hope or I totally missed the point of this beginning. Will Lucy face hardships trying to make her way in the world and also fall in love with someone who is sort of a dick? Well I've only read one other Bronte book, but yes? Probably.
Title quote from page 8, location 126
Bronte, Charlotte. Villette. Amazon Digital Services. Originally published 1853.