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The Taste of Sorrow [Paperback]

Jude Morgan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

29 April 2010

Charlotte. Emily. Anne. The Brontë sisters - the drama, the passion, and a story that lives for ever...

Once upon a time there were three sisters, bound by love and suffering, growing up in wild isolation in a lonely house on the moor. Their story will astonish you: their passionate, dangerous closeness; their struggle against the world; their determination to rise above the fates of their parents and their other lost sisters, to become more than the world ever thought they could be. You don't know their story, but you think they do. They were the Brontës.

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The Taste of Sorrow + Passion + The Secret Life of William Shakespeare
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755339002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755339006
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jude Morgan, whose previous novels include PASSION and THE TASTE OF SORROW, was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens, and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

Product Description


[Morgan holds] nerve and reason where many a Brontë biographer fails...brilliant...moving...superb...A lovely book [which] deserves a wide readership (Guardian)

Seemingly effortlessly, Jude Morgan breathes such life and vigour into their stories that you are totally drawn into their world...I cannot commend it enough (Daily Mail )

Completely involving, absorbing. Full of insight and very accomplished... I loved reading it (Hilary Mantel)

'Quite simply the best book about the Brontës I have ever read' (Juliet Barker, author of The Brontës: A Life in Letters)

Book Description

The ultimate family story, told by one of the most acclaimed historical novelists writing today

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
It's difficult to put into words just how much I loved this novel! Jude Morgan writes beautifully, and his portrayal of these doyennes of English literature is so perceptive, so intimate, that I found myself instantly absorbed by these very real, if extraordinary, women. Each Brontė sister feels restricted, not just by nineteenth-century society and the low expectations of their father, but also by their own fears. As Emily becomes increasingly detached and Anne more introspective, Charlotte's heartbreak and frustrations drive her on, and it is her passion and need for expression that ultimately saves them all. This fascinating family of geniuses is brought spectacularly to life in a masterpiece of historical fiction, and whether you're a Brontėphile or not, I defy you not to be both moved and gripped by it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Jude Morgan 19 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't know how Jude Morgan does it! Having read the fantastic 'Passion' and 'Symphony' based on the lives of real historical figures, I was very excited to see this book about the Brontes. Once again, this extremely clever writer has pulled all the epic strands together, and created another masterpiece of atmosphere, storytelling and historical research. This is a fine introduction into the early lives of the sisters - not forgetting Branwell, too, and that rare class of book that you just don't want to end. Even given the grim times in which they lived, wrote and died, Morgan manages to derive some humour and hope. The subject matter may be a path well trodden, but Morgan invests such attention-to-detail in the psychological aspects of the 'characters,' that you feel like you actually know them, and experience genuine grief and admiration by the end of the book.
It's such a travesty not to see Jude Morgan on the bestseller lists. I hope this book wins this talented author many more fans.
I would recommend 'The Taste of Sorrow' without reservation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Ripple TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow! What a fantastic book this is. True the subject matter is enduringly fascinating, but this brings the stories to life in a totally gripping and encompassing way. It's a sumptuous Brontė-fest.

The Brontės' first biographer was, of course, a novelist, and in the wake of Mrs Gaskell - who confessed, as a writer of fiction, to finding it hard to stick to the facts - their story has been adapted, ad infinitum, for stage and screen as well as in books. The Taste of Sorrow is a very welcome addition to that genre and, unlike Mrs Gaskell, Jude Morgan comfortably takes the route of fiction, albeit using vast amounts of what is known to be historical fact. The result is to really bring this remarkable family to life - and indeed to death as early death was a feature both of the times and their upbringing. The novel starts off with the death of their mother, including a suggestion that may raise some hackles that she may have made a pact with the devil for her daughters' future.

The rich style of writing may not be to all modern tastes, but I loved it. I was instantly taken back 150 years - staggering to think that it really was not that long ago - to Haworth and the newly industrialising villages, together with the restrictions on the opportunities for young girls and the horrors of their limited education.

I came to this book with a fair degree of familiarity with the story - but absolutely none is needed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The taste of bitter disappointment 29 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE TASTE OF SORROW is the fictionalised story of the Bronte sisters. Being a fan of "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre", I was intrigued by Morgan's novel, interested in finding out what she would have made of the women who created these stories. Unfortunately, although I expected to love the book, I was bitterly disappointed.

The prose is very heavy going. As other reviewers have commented, the beginning of the book feels very heavy in detail, yet seems to amble on, so that the story itself gets off to a slow start. While the description at the very beginning of their mother's death was agonisingly beautiful, the following part about Charlotte joining her two sisters at boarding school becomes quite tedious. Rather than flying through the pages, I found myself feeling as though I were slogging through the pages - it was not a book that I really looked forward to picking up, I persevered because of having to write a review.

I think THE TASTE OF SORROW would be suited to people who enjoy historical novels which use a lot of detail and description. People who are not looking for a book which they will tear through, but one they don't mind taking the time over as the story slowly progresses. It's not a bad book - the writing style is simply not to my taste.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing novel 4 Nov 2009
I'm one of those people who has seen the films of Jane Eyre and Wuthering H, watched the TV, read a bit of the books at school but isn't that interested in the stories of the Bronte sisters themselves. In fact I only tried The Taste of Sorrow because someone in my bookgroup promised it was amazing...and we all went 'hmm' but in fact she was RIGHT. So if I were you I wouldn't worry if you don't care about them, or if you know every detail about their lives - it's just an incredibly, heart-rending, completely gripping story about a group of sisters, a million times more moving than any other historical fiction I've read for years. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bronte Story
Great read, really enjoyed the book, Author kept to the known facts, and brought alive the Bronte story. I recommend it for any Bronte fan.
Published 14 months ago by E M DEVETTA
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
I have always loved everything to do with the Bronte sisters. I bought this book after hearing it discussed on Radio 4 a few months ago and I am so glad I did. Read more
Published on 24 May 2012 by Whartonfan
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Taste
Sorry to say I really didn't enjoy this fictionalisation of the young life and times of the Brontes. Read more
Published on 19 April 2012 by Rotgut
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who like historical fiction
At first this book is very heavy going. For me too much detail, particularly at the beginning. However having got through the first couple of chapters it seemed to get better (or I... Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2012 by Andy O'Boogie
3.0 out of 5 stars A small taste of sorrow
I've read all the novels (and some poetry) that the Brontės have written and enjoyed them all as I'm a big fan of 19th Century fiction. Read more
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Green Book Addict Librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat for Bronte fans
The Taste of Sorrow is a fictional retelling of the lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontė, beginning with their childhoods and ending just after Charlotte's wedding. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by Helen S
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but deep
The Taste of Sorrow is a fictionalization of the lives of the Bronte sisters (and Branwell).

The story is well known but Jude Morgan tells it as well as anyone. Read more
Published on 13 April 2011 by MisterHobgoblin
3.0 out of 5 stars Failed to live up to its promise
It took me a couple of starts to get going with this book - the writing style of the first chapter, about the death of the Bronte childrens mother, was just so clunky and plodding... Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2011 by Princess Mononoke
4.0 out of 5 stars Long May They Reign
The Taste of Sorrow, is an interesting novel about the lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontė. The book is well named as a taste of sorrow as it is an emotion that dogs them... Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by Angela Lovelace
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather a waste of time?
A book about the Bronte sisters, called 'The Taste of Sorrow'? Well, we sure know what we're in for, and it's certainly not a bundle of laughs ... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2011 by Bookwoman
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