Hey guys! For my first outsider review I’ll talk about Jane Eyre, a classic novel by Charlotte Brontë. I think I must start with a quick summary, so I’ll quote Goodreads on that.
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.
I am delighted to say that Jane Eyre was my first read in 2015. I was surprised on how much I loved the book. It’s slow-paced and has a lot of descriptions, and even though I have a few attention issues I could not put the book down. So I read it in a day and a half. I don’t even enjoy love stories that much, but this book… Oh.
What I loved about the book:
The magic of Jane Eyre is not in Jane’s romance with Mr. Rochester, but in Jane herself. She is one of the best female characters I’ve ever had a chance to encounter. She is strong, determined, intelligent and witty. At some point in the book she conquers her independence, and the want to follow her life journey until the end was what kept me going. I loved her relationship with other people: the family that despised her, her few friends at Lowood, her co-workers, and yes, Mr. Rochester. I thought the relationship with the latter great and entertaining only until he asked for her hand in marriage. She had honest-to-goodness conversations with him even though he was her boss, an older and richer man, and we’re talking about Victorian Era. I also enjoyed the bits of madness and touch of the supernatural Charlotte put in the story. And John Rivers. He’s amazing.
What I didn’t like about the book:
Even though I thoroughly loved it, I found many of the characters too dramatic, including Jane herself. They’re very deep, indeed, but some of that depth extents to a tiresome drama. And I also started getting tired of Jane’s and Mr. Rochester’s love story at some point. I just wanted her to find someone else – or no one at all – and live happy like that. But that might have been too unrealistic, so I’m happy with the book as it is.
Those are the reasons why I give it four and a half out of five stars and highly recommend this book. If you wish to read but not to spend money in it, I have a wonderful alternative: a free version offered by Project Gutenberg (I’ll talk about that in another post). And to close with a golden key, I will quote Jane herself:
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”