As promised, though a little late, here is my book review for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
Ok so first up, I must admit this is a re-read for me but the first time I read this classic I must have only been around 11 or 12. So yeah, I really didn’t get the grasp of the story or appreciate the writing back then. I wanted to see if I still enjoyed the book a couple of years later.
Let’s start with characters. Jane Eyre must be my favourite lead character in a classic that I’ve ever read. She’s strong and independent despite the restrictive Victorian society she lives in and a real feminist to the core. The thing I admired most about her is her insistence to make decisions for herself and not let others influence her in following her heart, even if the decision might not agree with the reader. Even from a young age she had a real fighting spirit and stubbornness that I admired. Also, her inquisitive and calculating manner gave an extra dimension to the storytelling. Overall, the perfect protagonist of a book such as this, to portray the power of women in a sometimes confining environment.
The other main character is Mr Rochester, the love interest. His brooding demeanour was perfectly balanced with playful scenes with Jane. He developed extremely well from a lonely, angry person into a loving and respecting person with hope, probably the most important addition to his character.
Jane’s relationship with Mr Rochester was a little fast in the developmental stages but once their love was explored I thought their scenes were so cute and pacing evened out again. It became one of my favourite relationships in a book, period.
The writing of course was beautiful and luckily, though very descriptive, I was in a patient mood when I was reading so it never really bothered me especially when the setting was set up so perfectly. Bronte’s writing prose was exquisite and includes one of my favourite book quotes of all time.
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.”
Because I was prepared for this type of writing and story telling I could appreciate the plot a whole lot more. I liked how the book started right from the beginning of Jane’s young life as it gave you an appreciation for the events that happened further into the novel. I can see how some people would get bored quickly of the story so I cannot stress enough the importance of reading this book when you’re in the mood for it! Otherwise, I adored the plot of this novel. The romance was adorable and the scenes of struggle complimented the story very well and I especially liked the mystery aspect and even perhaps the small hint of magical realism as it really set the story apart from any other classic.
I was completely swept away in this book. I didn’t realise how much the story had grown on me until I finished it and was left in that post-good-book bittersweet daze. The ending packs a powerful punch and kept me wanting more. Overall, one of my favourite classics of all time and definitely a recommended read.
I gave this book:
So there you have it. Have any of you read Jane Eyre and if so, what were your thoughts? Let me know!
Thank you so much for reading and as always, I’ll talk to you in my next post!