Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love - I have found you."
Reader, I am in love with this book.
I am so upset it took me so long to “read" this book (I listened to the audio cd), and the Brontë's books in general. I had read a few of Jane Austen's books and since I had been so disappointed with those, I was even more skeptical when I first started reading Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. I thought the over descriptiveness was going to happen all over again since the first few chapters in that were full of descriptions that made me a bit lost. But I was SO wrong! Charlotte Brontë (and her sister) use this descriptive style of writing to truly set the scene of these darker tales and flawed characters. The descriptions bring you into the narrator's mind and emotions. After reading further into the book, I loved the quiet way the descriptions of the landscape or rooms truly set the mood of the storyline, adding to the sad or happy conversations or moments that came next.
Jane Eyre is a romance, yes, but I was also impressed by how Charlotte made Jane so ahead of her time. Jane's life is gut wrenching and emotional but still she stays strong through all her misfortunes. She realized early on how she was being treated was an injustice just because of her birth and circumstances. She was not loud in displaying her intelligence or defiance, but showed a quiet strength that she would not be submissive in everything or to everyone just because she was a governess or seen as lesser in society. She became strong and independent, she fought to keep this independence and create her own happiness and destiny, not depending on a marriage or man.
The romance is also very well written. There is somewhat insta-love, but really the love between Jane and Mr. Rochester grows and strengthens based on a mutual respect and intelligence that both characters possess. It is the fact they recognize themselves as being on somewhat equal ground that truly makes this love work. The ending is touching but also a bit sad, but somehow works for these two characters. It makes the love between them strengthen even more.
There are also touches of fantasy, with certain characters uncannily determining the other's thoughts. Moments of foreshadowing that were almost as if seers existed. The way Jane and Mr. Rochester see each other as mythical creatures that have pulled the other to them. It is a realistic and plausible story for the most part, but these added fantastical elements made the story even more beautiful.
Reader, I recommend this book on all levels, read it please!
Synopsis: A gentlewoman in service to the reclusive and solitary Mr. Rochester, Jane develops a secret love for him which he senses and reciprocates. The Rochester home catches fire, burns to the ground....and reveals everything, particularly the crazed Mrs. Rochester, hidden in the attic, where she perishes. Rochester, thought blinded, is now free.
View my Review on Goodreads