Jennifer Vandever The Bronte Project Reviews

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“The Bronte Project ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 02/10/2005

The Bronte Project
Jennifer Vandever
Shaye Areheart, Oct 2005, $21.00
ISBN: 0307236919

At a New York university, Sara Frost knows that the best she can hope for is teaching Lit 101, as she remains unpublished, still needs to write her doctorate, and is unable to find the proof of her topic, Charlotte Bronte's letters. Adding to her downtrodden feelings is the newest member of the faculty, lively self-promoting, media guru, published author and recognized expert on Princess Diana, Claire Vigee. The newcomer's lan sends Sara's bored fianc Paul to Paris seeking life (on a fellowship of course), but not before he splits from her.

Stunned by the desertion as much as by her own comparisons to the I am the greatest Claire, the reticent Sara loses her grant, and is further manipulated by the hurricane who has taken over the school by storm. Soon Claire meets a film producer, who wants to do a New Age retelling of Charlotte's life with much more of the zest than normally presented. Yet through Claire's manipulations, Sara risks all heading to Los Angeles and Europe seeking to avoid the label of a modern day "silent Victorian".

This fabulous satire lampoons academia, the book publishing industry, and Hollywood, by having the Victorian romantic meet the modern day author. Readers will appreciate the comparisons between characters to include Charlotte, as Sara is a serious scholar until driven away by the "worship of the pseudo-scholar Claire, whose latest best seller on Princess Di will leave readers in awe, as it is not the substance that counts, just the sales hyped by the PR.

Harriet Klausner

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