Dust off your Classics : Jane Eyre

July 24, 2013 Book review, Dust off Your Classics 0 ★★★

Jane Eyre is the second classic I have read for our DOYC challenge.  I know, I’m crawling through this challenge and coming to the realisation that classics are demanding and tricky for me personally.



I’ve rated Jane Eyre as 3 stars on Goodreads so that will give you an indication of how I felt about it.  I did like it but I read it slower than snail pace and at times it was often a chore to pick it up.


Dust off your Classics : Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
on 01 Jan 1847
Genres: Classic, Gothic, Romance
Pages: 507
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
three-stars

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.(less)

However, when I reached the end I was delighted I had stuck with it as it was worth reading and made me feel like I had achieved something.  Note – this isn’t the cover on the version I read but out of all the covers this book has had this is my favourite one.


What I liked:


I loved the earlier section when Jane lived with her cousins and later was sent to school.  You can see how alone, independent and brave she is.  I also really enjoyed seeing Jane’s rebellious side come out as given her gender and life circumstances this is something you would expect to see stamped out of her.

The scene where her friend Helen Burns died from typhus made me feel emotional and angry.  Her death was the only part of the book I could remember from my previous reading of Jane Eyre so obviously it affected me deeply the first time I read it too

I also loved Mr Rochester – one of the original bad boys of fiction.  He is indulgent, moody, passionate and impulsive.  And like all the ‘good’ bad boys, he wants to change and his love for Jane is his guiding light to turning his life around.

No insta love – there is a genuine connection between Jane and Mr Rochester and it is slowly built up,  layer by layer, conversation by conversation and it is totally believable.   Or to put it another way, the romance rocks!

What I disliked:


I’m probably a pleb but being honest what I disliked was how wordy it was.  It took forever to get to the point.

I hated St. John Rivers – pious, unfeeling, dutiful – he is the exact opposite to my Mr Rochester.  The sections of the book where St John was present just dragged for me as he simultaneously bored and exasperated me.  I wanted to high five Jane when she turned down his marriage proposal

I didn’t like being addressed as Reader, for example, the most famous line in this book is :

             “Reader, I married him

It just felt formal and created a barrier between myself and Jane.  This is hard to explain but when I’m reading I like to escape into a book as if I’m living it myself and the repeated use of Reader reminded me that I was passive observer.

Overall though, I had more pros than cons so Jane Eyre gets a subdued thumbs up from me.
So 2 down 4 to go!  Next up is an old favourite of mine that I’m going to reread – The Secret Garden.  Now this one, I’m really looking forward to.


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three-stars

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