Book Review, Netgalley

THE VANISHED BRIDE by Bella Ellis (Out Today!)

Publication Date: 9/10/2019

Rating: 4.5 / 5

I received THE VANISHED BRIDE by Bella Ellis as an uncorrected digital proof in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Berkeley Publishing and Netgalley for the chance to read and review!

I had the wonderful opportunity to read this book as part of a buddy read with some wonderful bookstagrammers. When I heard that this was a mystery featuring none other than the Brontë sisters as detectives, I knew I had to check it out. I am participating in a buddy read of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë in September, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

THE VANISHED BRIDE has at its center a mystery. A young wife and mother has vanished. From the amount of blood left behind, it seems fairly obvious that the poor missing woman has died, even without a body to be found! Living nearby and with a personal connection to one of the household staff in the missing woman’s home, Brontë sisters Anne, Charlotte and Emily decide to investigate this shocking event!

I loved this book immensely and it immediately hooked me in. I felt that the author did a great job of building the sense of time and place, something that I find important in reading historical fiction. I found the mystery to be a good one with plenty of twists and red herrings thrown in to keep me guessing until the end. There is a touch of the supernatural thrown in, just enough to leave you guessing if it was real or imagined.

The highlight of the book was definitely the portrayal of the sisters. In this book the three sisters are home, living back with their father for various reasons after time spent out in the world. They are imaginative and inquisitive and find themselves with time on their hands. I enjoyed the way the author wrote their relationship. They are very close, but as sisters there is a lot of bickering and eye rolling done as well which felt very natural!

In this time frame the sisters haven’t yet written anything for actual publication, but you can see how these three could become authors destined to become classics. There are numerous places where I could pick out elements of the story which could certainly be considered influences on the future writing of JANE EYRE, so I’m even more excited to be reading that!

The depiction of men in the book was very interesting. Where the author put a lot into showing the strength of the female characters, the portrayal of the Brontë brother was definitely less positive. As a man, Branwell has all the freedoms and advantages the women generally don’t, but he is often shown to be reliably unreliable, squandering his advantages with drinking and staying out all night. Their father is surprisingly permissive at times with his daughters, though he does instruct Branwell to stand in and oversee them at times.

If you are a fan of the Brontë sisters or you just love a great historical mystery, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of THE VANISHED BRIDE by Bella Ellis. This is out and available to buy today!

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