Agnes Grey is a novel by arguably the least known of the Brontë Sisters, Anne Brontë. I listened to a free audio version (a dramatic reading) courtesy of Librivox.org.
Agnes Grey is the daughter of a poor minister. Wanting to help her family, Agnes becomes a governess. She bears many trials and tribulations with patience and composure. She finds little comfort in her life as a governess, except for the occasional interactions with the local parson, Edward Weston.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to Agnes Grey. This story is a subdued one. It’s comfortable. I’ve read people comparing Anne Brontë’s work to that of Jane Austen, and while I can see the similarities, Austen’s work is more intricate and complex. Agnes Grey is simple and straightforward. However, it gets a big bonus for its support of animal welfare. Agnes’s heart is wrenched when one of her first students is cruel to birds and beasts, and she finds companionship in a scrappy little dog. In her timidness and compassion, I saw a little of myself in Agnes.