by Charlotte Bronte
The Spell is an early work and does show some signs of what is to come but there is very little in the way of plot or real story. The characters are well described, but at the same time, shallow and ill-defined. This is Charlotte honing her craft, but lacks the clarity and drive of her later work.
As the story begins to unfold there are hints of the supernatural. How can one man be in two places at once? The answer was all too obvious far too early, but then, I have seen this type of plot before, but at the time it was written I suppose it was a less common theme.
Did I enjoy the book? Yes I did, but it didn’t hold my attention and I had to work on it. I also found the irrelevant references to mythology and other literary works to be a distraction. At times I felt that Charlotte was more interested in showing off her classical education than in taking the reader with her on a journey.
For what it is, an early work by a well-respected author, it is enjoyable enough, but hardly a classic in its own right. Something for the fans. If you really want to read a classic by this woman, stick to Jane Eyre.