Review: Without the Veil Between, Anne Bronte: A Fine and Subtle Spirit by DM Denton
"She never made it to the river that afternoon, didn't go deeper into the plantation but waited at its edge. She could easily get sick again and needed to moderate her love of wild weather, which even without the influence of Emily and the rugged landscape of the moors, tempted her to forgo good sense. She stepped into the open, a roaring above and around her, whirlwinds of spray
making her even damper, thunder crashing once and then again, breaking the clouds apart a little, the rain letting up but not stopping. It could be a long while before it did".
This is the most beautiful novel about Anne Bronte and her sisters that I've read in a very long time. It is the first I've read by author, DM Denton but not the last. I couldn't put it down once I'd started. I fell into the author's languid writing style and was captivated by her research and depth of scope of the life of the sisters. Let me be clear when I say that, Without the Veil Between is written from Anne Bronte's perspective; focusing mainly on a brief seven year period in her life (1842-1849). Within these seven years, you meet young Anne who lives with her minister, widowed father along with brother Branwell, sisters Emily and Charlotte.
What stood out for me was the way the author humanized the entire Bronte family. I just loved the scenes written at home sometimes whispered sibling conversations so that "father" wouldn't hear or seated around the dinner table everyone eating, sisters giving scraps to pets Keeper and Flossy while their fathered asked how they were all doing?
Of course, the most interesting were the chapters covering the sisters writing poetry, secret novels, coming to publication during their own lifetime. The scene between Charlotte Bronte and her father reading her published novel brought me to tears; his pride as father in that moment and how I'm sure he wished his wife, Maria could be there. Also, included throughout the novel were bits of Emily and Anne's poems. The novel is beautifully illustrated by the author herself. It is a book to be savored and enjoyed.
To buy the book in the U.K. Amazon
For more information, DM Denton