This is a heavy book. And I'm not sure how it does compare to Jane Eyre since I haven't read it, but I loved it anyway.
While it was certainly a chunker of a book, it was beautiful and required every word and moment to accomplish its purpose. And when it came to its end, I was in love.
Lucy Snowe and M. Paul Emmanuel eventually did come together in the way I thought they would, even if obstacles were thrown in their way. It was a love that grew slowly during their conversations, and I could see it long before Lucy admitted it.
The result is a climax that I was yearning for, but Bronte still left it to the imagination...
The fact is, Villette has an ambiguous ending. As a reader, you aren't sure what direction Bronte is heading. Is Lucy happy? Did it end the way I wanted it to? I'm not sure, but I still liked it.
As a person, you are unsure of who Lucy is-her purpose, her goals. She floats through her life and the experiences chronicled here with little significant care for the direction her life took. And while she befriends Emmanuel and seemingly falls in love with him, I have to wonder of she merely fell in love because he was there and he cared. Don't get me wrong, I feel that he loved her and wanted the best for her, but I am not sure how she felt. Lucy was never overly emotional about the men in her life.
So Bronte left us a puzzle at the end, and a way to figure it out for ourselves what happened after the last page. Sometimes this can annoy me in a book, but that open-ending worked here. It fit the mood and the purpose.
Overall, I am left feeling like I found a very deep friend in Lucy Snowe. I related to her, felt her pain, and understood many of her mannerisms. This was certainly a novel I will have to revisit.
My only concern is how I will feel about Villette's big sister Jane Eyre. Will I love it as much? Will I remember this novel with as much fondness? Will Jane Eyre ruin my love for this particular Bronte?
Only time, and more reading, will tell.