Review: The Anglophile’s Notebook by Sunday Taylor

☆☆➹⁀☆ 3 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

How many ways does the past haunt the present? Can it give you the courage to finally follow your heart? Part literary mystery, part how-to-reinvent-your-life, and 100% delicious, Sunday Taylor’s entrancing novel about Charlotte Brontë will have you captivated from page one. Get ready to put the outside world on hold. You don’t just read this book, you live it.


Guest Reviewer Sara’s Thoughts:

What I enjoyed most about The Anglophile’s Notebook was Claire’s connection between California and England. Being a native Californian who lived in England for 12 years, the familiarity of both worlds was comforting to me.  I understood Claire’s fascination with the sheer oldness of England and the description of the book shops, pubs and stately homes evoked some wonderful memories.  I loved the forays into the Bronte family history and they made me want to pick up a Bronte book immediately!  Other than the Wuthering Heights requirement in school, I have not read any Bronte and it seems that I have been missing out!

Claire’s story was sweet, if somewhat predictable, but was generally an enjoyable read.  The descriptive narration made the book absorbing yet sometimes laborious.  The detail could transport you to an ancient pub or bookstore with all of their old world charm,  or trudge through the almost tedious explanation of someone’s outfit or tea table setting.  Although I find the use of local vernacular quaint and sometimes necessary to set a tone, the inconsistency was distracting for me.  Characters and the narrative seemed to randomly shift in and out of American English and English English.  Also, despite having lived in England for a length of time, some of the expressions were foreign to me so the injection of these words interrupted the flow.

The plentiful cast was charming and well characterized but, perhaps, a few too many. They were, for the most part, well woven into the story but I found that one or two late introductions felt superfluous and added confusion to an already ample group of people to keep track of.  The main personalities were well developed, sincere and very relatable. 

I appreciated Claire’s journey and relished going back to England’s districts, homes, gardens and even television shows!  Being able to relate to many of the references throughout the book brought back some wonderful personal memories of my time in England.  And a few Bronte titles have definitely made it to the top of my reading list!


About the Author: Taylor grew up in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and attended Bates College in Maine. A graduate of the Master of Arts program in English Literature at UCLA, she spent the last four decades in California and currently lives in Los Angeles. Taylor is married with two grown daughters and two granddaughters. She journeys to England every year and identifies as an Anglophile. This is her first novel. When not reading or writing, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, grows old English Roses in her Los Angeles garden, and is currently searching for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe for her granddaughters. 

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