Alternate cover editions of this ISBN can be found here & here.
Jane Eyre is a wildly emotional romance with a lonely heroine and a tormented Byronic hero, pathetic orphans, dark secrets, and a madwoman in the attic. When it was
published in 1847, it was a great popular success. The power of the writing, the masterly
handling of the narrative, and the boldly realistic style were much admired. But many found it difficult to believe that Currer Bell, the pseudonymous author, was Charlotte Brontë , a young woman from a bleak Yorkshire parsonage.
This novel tells the tale of Jane Eyre, sent to live with her Aunt Reed when she was orphaned. Her life wasn’t a good one as she was constantly treated as if she were the scum of the earth. From her Aunt’s household, to the Lowood School, misfortune greeted her on every turn.
This was one of the books that I saw as a challenge since I didn’t know whether I was going to like it or not. I had first started listening to the audiobook but that was taking too long so I moved over to the physical copy.
The way this story unfolds is slightly strange as in I was confused a bit at the time jumps but after I caught my bearings, I was back with the program. We start out with Aunt Reed who I thought could dial it down a bit. She was a horrible woman who refused to accept anyone that she didn’t think was up to her standards. Right up to the end she was the same; there was absolutely no remorse on her part for how she treated Jane. I was glad when she sent Jane away even though she was technically kicking her out.
The people Jane met after leaving the Lowood School was a bit of a mix of everything. I like to think that her simple-ness is what drew people towards her. Sure she was plain and simple but that made her an anomaly to people, especially those who thrived on being noticed. Mrs. Fairfax for example was a lovely woman. The housekeeper at Thornfield Manor, she was inclined to know all the going ons at the house and not once did she treat Jane in an undignified manner. I felt that she was a nice change to see especially wtih the bad luck that seemed to befall Jane in her younger years.
I found Mr. Rochester to be a every strange man. He seemed very presumptuous over how he thought Jane should speak and act but I had to laugh when she set him straight. I think that was one of the things that made him love her. She was different yes, she had fire and wasn’t afraid to speak out when she thought something wasn’t right. Another thing that made her un-liked amongst others. ‘Woman (and children) should be seen and not heard.’
“He made me love him without looking at me.”
The romance aspect of this book was a lovely thing to see and I honestly appreciated it even as I’m not a big fan of romance novels. The only reason I picked up this book while knowing about the romance was for the deeper meaning behind it all. I got to see Jane grow up from being a seemingly rebellious adolescent to a strong and courageous woman with will power and a sharp mind. A woman with the determination to lead her own life and who wouldn’t be talked into anything when she’d already made up her mind that something wasn’t for her.
My only regret about this book is that I took so long to finish it because this is now my favourite book. I could read this book over and over again and would probably still be amazed. It’s been a while since I felt such joy and elation because of a book and I would gladly want to relive the experience.
Read: 29 November 2016
Publication Date: 5 May 1999 (first published 16 October 1847)
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Charlotte Brontë