The Brontes Went to Woolworths
The Brontes Went to Woolworths is the rather quirky tale of the Carne family’s prodigious creativity. Despite one daughter’s attempt at being a novelist, and another’s quest to be an actress, the Carnes don’t really have much in the way of productive outlets for the output of their endlessly spinning minds. Between the four of them (mother plus three daughters) they have created a web of imaginary relationships with people they don’t really know. That is, until one day they actually get to know two of their imagined friends. Thankfully for the Carne family their quarry is interested in playing along.
The Brontes Went to Woolworths was definitely an enjoyable read, but I really think you need to be in the mood for something so whimsical it borders on nonsense. Despite some of its rather edgy subject matter (for 1931) the book feels somewhat saccharine. Like a mix of Waugh and Wodehouse but without being very clever. One could imagine a room full of Hollywood studio types turning this quirky, sweet tale into a thriller about a family of psychotics stalking a judge and his wife. In that tale someone would no doubt end up dead or in jail. No such outcome in this book.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many enjoyable moments reading The Brontes Went to Woolworths. I think I just wasn’t in the mood for that much whimsy. It is also entirely possible that I may have missed the point. It wouldn’t be the first time a meta-narrative went over my head.
For a more sensitive and substantive take on the book check out Dovegreyreader Scribbles.