Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
When I Read It: February 2015
Genres: Literature; Classics; Romance; Gothic Literature
Recommended For: Honestly? Just about anyone.
Description from Goodreads:
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.
With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.
This is a kind of long book (around 500 pages), but I read it much quicker than I expected. I think it took me about a week and a half to get through it, and I was probably reading a couple of other books at the time, too. A lot of people rave about Wuthering Heights, but I hated that book. I went into Jane Eyre not expecting much (because of Wuthering Heights), but this was so much better!
Jane was a delightful, fully realized character and I loved reading about her. I didn’t really want the story to end, but I was satisfied with how it was wrapped up. I kicked myself for…well, actually I’m still kicking myself, for not reading it sooner.
I definitely recommend it to fans of romance, Gothic literature, or anyone sick of reading romances with this beyond perfectly and beautiful characters. If you want people you can believe were real, read Jane Eyre.
(And, if you’re like me and not a big fan of romance, I still recommend it because, while the romance was important and a big part of the story, there’s so much more to it!)
(I also recommend reading if if, like me, you’ve been judging all the Bronte sisters based on your feelings about Wuthering Heights. Charlotte’s book is much better.)
Lastly, if you’re interested, you can read my thoughts about it on my tumblr blog.