Book Review: The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Book Review: The Brontë Plot by Katherine ReayThe Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
Also by this author: A Portrait of Emily Price
Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Christian, Coming of Age, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. 

Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

At the opening of the story, we learn that the main character Lucy Alling, is a rare book seller who works for Sid McKenna, one of the most respected antiques dealer and high end interior decorators in Chicago. Most of Lucy’s work with Sid involves keeping the inventory and meeting customers, but Lucy loves to find old editions and then sell them at Sid’s shop and she loves her job. Unfortunately, the origins and authenticity of some of the editions that Lucy “finds” are suspect and we learn that her morals are questionable and that she has taken a few liberties with the books she has acquired for the store and then sold.

Lucy meets James, a handsome stranger and promising young attorney who buys two of her favorite books for family members. They become romantically involved once James shares that his attraction to Lucy is the main reason he even purchased the books to begin with. Lucy meets James’ grandmother, Helen, a woman with terminal cancer who hires Lucy to be her companion on a trip to England where Helen must deal with her own secrets. Visiting some of the sites famous for the Brontë novels and the places where the Brontë sisters lived, a friendship is born and both Lucy and Helen realize that they must face their flaws and fix their wrongdoings. 

I had never heard of the Brontë sisters before this book, so I didn’t know what the title actually meant until I read this book. I thought it was pretty amazing that when I took out a note pad and made a list, there were over 50 other books mentioned in the story of this book!

The Brontë Plot explores what makes us who we are and asks if we can change. In my humble opinion, since this book was held out to be a Christian book, I was surprised that there wasn’t very much spiritual emphasis as I would have liked, but the life truths were there. The Brontë Plot is about people facing their past to be able to move on into the future.

“All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next.”
― Katherine Reay, The Brontë Plot


Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt.  Visit her online at, or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter


I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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