Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jane Eyre (book review)

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is a classic story of love and sacrifice. Jane, the main character, narrates the story. It begins when she is ten years old, living at her cruel Aunt Reed's house. Being an orphan, Jane has nowhere else to go. Two of her cousins, Eliza and Georgiana, treat her coldly, and their brother, John, is an outright bully. Jane suffers along until her aunt decides to send her to Lowood Institute, a school for orphaned children. She makes various friends and spends a total of eight years at the school--six as a student and two as a teacher. But finally Jane realizes she is not content and posts an ad in the paper looking for a job. She finds one as a governess for a little French girl at stately Thornfield Hall. However, something mysterious is going on there...could it be haunted by a ghost or something even more gruesome? The secret is finally revealed when Jane is about to be married to the master of Thornfield Hall, Mr. Rochester, and it prevents the two from getting married. Brokenhearted and wanting to avoid temptation, Jane sets off on her own, wandering for several days until she comes to a house inhabited by the Rivers family. The head of the house, St. John Rivers, offers Jane a position as schoolmistress for some poor village girls. She accepts the job, but soon after she starts she finds that she has been left with a huge inheritance by her uncle. Splitting it with the Rivers, she moves in with them again. However, something deep within her finally calls her back to Thornfield, and, telling her newfound family she is going on a short trip, she heads back, only to find that it has burned down at that Mr. Rochester, blind and crippled from the fire, has moved somewhere else. She tracks him down and finds that he still loves her like she loves him, and, freed from the obstacle that stopped them before, they marry.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be kind of dry and hard to read, but that wasn't the case at all. I don't think there was a single boring part of this book, but the least interesting part was Jane's time at Lowood. I guess I think that because not much happened there, at least not compared to other parts of the book. The characters were dynamic and complex, and I felt like they were real people who could step off the page if they wanted to. I think fans of classics would really love this book, but even if you're not really into classics, I still think you might want to give it a try.


Amanda said...

This is one of my favorite classics, and I had never even tried to read it until last year. So sad! I thought the part with St. John was a little dry, too, but maybe that's just because I wanted Jane to go back to Rochester. :)

Ana S. said...

The part with St John dragged for me too. But other than that, what a great book! I'm very glad you enjoyed it too :)

Jean said...

I might have to try this, but first I want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. :-)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

So glad you liked this one, Annie. I was expecting it to be boring also and was really surprised that it wasn't. Lowood wasn't one of my favorite parts either.

Kim L said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this book! It is one of my favorites, although I definitely agree St. John was a little boring. I loved it so much, I went to see a play adaptation of it and really enjoyed that too.

Debi said...

Amanda and Nymeth--

Yeah, I agree...and I wanted Jane to go back to Mr. Rochester, too...


You'll definitely have to read this book!


It was sad when Helen died though, wasn't it?

Kim L--

I'd love to see a play adaptation one day!

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Jorie said...

Hi Annie,

I just saw your book review on Jane Eyre and I've linked it to my own review of the book. Please feel free to leave a comment.