My 2 cents:
If a book isn't uplifting, I hope it's informative. You can say both about The Bronte Sisters (The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne) by Catherine Reef.
Starting in Chapter 1 (“Oh God, My Poor Children!”), the book chronicles the Bronte family's misfortunes, beginning with Mrs. Bronte's death in 1821 (perhaps from cancer or a childbirth-related infection), to Mr. Bronte's death forty years later, in 1861. Mr. Bronte outlived all six of his children, five daughters and one son, Patrick Branwell Bronte.
The Bronte's story is relentlessly poignant, and riddled with illness, poverty and death; but Reef's account offers an enlightening glimpse into the 1800's, the poverty in which preachers of small congregations lived, the lack of medical care and antibiotics, and the bleak futures young women of that era faced if they did not marry. Reef also offers a peek into the literary world the Bronte sisters lived in, and how they came to write such time-honored classics as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Fans of the Bronte sisters' work may want to read this book for insight into their brief, but productive lives.
Length: 190 pages
Worth Your Time? Yes, if you enjoy biographies, the 1800's and literature by the Bronte sisters. Reef's book is classified Young Adult Non-Fiction.