Thursday, May 21

Book Review: Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

Pages: 423

Summary: A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. This updated edition features a new introduction discussing the novel’s political and magical dimensions.

Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor—qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

My Rating: 8.5

What I liked/disliked about the book: Jane Eyre, was a exceptional book. Charlotte Brontë, was an extremely talented author, who brought to life vibrant characters throughout her books. Jane Eyre in particular was a very memorable character, whose personality was intriguing and at times appears above her time, where you can see glimpses of a Victorian feminist. I was familiar with Jane Eyre from a “Women’s Writers" literature course I took in college, where we watched the movie version instead (I skipped that day not wanting to ruin the book). But I still knew the basic plot line of the book going into the book, and I’ve read the “prequel”, which is the story of Bertha, the woman in the attic, which was part of the story that intrigued me the most. Brontë, was able to build up a great mystery behind the woman in the attic, and in exposing Rochester’s dark secrets. It was different to have read “Wide Sargasso Sea” first, which tells Bertha’s side of the story, and then to read the other side of the story in Jane Eyre, both are approached very differently, but both are wonderful stories, full of rich characters.

I wasn’t a big fan of Rochester, he was very egotistical and didn’t think highly of others. And I don’t understand the love affair between him and Jane, they spent a lot of time together, but they are both so different in character, that it just didn’t seem right they were madly in love to me. Rochester seemed to take advantage of her passiveness when it came to men. Although I did enjoy him acting as the fortune teller, overall, he wasn’t a likeable character.

Reading some reviews, I seem to be in the minority, some of my favourite parts was when Jane was away on her own, running her own little school. I think she seemed the most happy there and she was more enchanting as an independent woman. Rather than her time at Thornfield, I would have rather end up working at the school, helping the local children. But nonetheless, I still enjoyed how the story went.

One other criticism of the book was I found Jane to bounce back and forward from being an energetic, out spoken women, who speaks her mind freely, to some one who is trampled on and gives in to the whims of others. Everyone has their faults, but Jane seemed to be a mixture of both sides, it confuses the reader, who Jane really is.

But over all the story was wonderful, Brontë’s style of writing is stunning and flowing, it is hard not to be pulled in to her stories, and I love how she often addresses the reader in her books, it adds a bit of intimacy between the author and the reader. She is quickly becoming my favourite Victorian author.


Would I recommend it to read: Yes, Brontë’s story telling ability is not one you want to miss, particularly Jane Eyre, it is a fantastic story, with memorable characters, everyone should enjoy, especially Victorian literature and classic book lovers.

What to read next: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is a must. It gives a very different light to woman in the attics story and on Rochester. Also, Jane reminds me of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Both are great books to read.

Challenges: 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
Classics Challenge, RYOB Challenge, Spring Reading Challenge, TBR Challenge,
Victorian Reading Challenge


6 comments:

  1. Great review -- I really enjoyed Jane Eyre, though it's been so long I should probably re-read it.

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  2. I read Wide Sargasso Sea after reading Jane Eyre and I didn't think Jean Rhys did a good job capturing the characters from Jane Eyre. I mean, I liked the book, but I felt like it was independent of Bronte. The guy who was supposed to be Rochester was nothing like him, not in character or speech or mannerism or action. Maybe it's because I really loved Rochester, he's one of my favorite literary characters, and I didn't feel like he was arrogant or a jerk at all. I suppose it all depends on viewpoint. I imagine i would have had a different one had I read Rhys's book first.

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  3. This is one of my favorite books. As for Rochester, to me he seemed haughty at the beginning, but when he began to fall for Jane he warmed as a character. Glad you liked the book even if you didn't really like Rochester.

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  4. I have never read this book, but have it on my shelves. After reading your review I really want to make some time to read both this and Wide Sargasso Sea. I love the classics, I just haven't read enough of them.

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  5. I have the same thoughts. Great Review.

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  6. Unknown - Glad you enjoyed it

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