By Charlotte Bronte
Published in: 1847 (however, my edition was published in 1999)
Times read: first time (and probably only time)
Brought in: December 2009 from a second hand store
Date read: 26 March 2010
Time taken to read: 20 days.
Ok so this is considered a literary work of art by many, some sort of milestone for female writers of the 1800’s, a lovestory with mystery and a strong female lead, blah blah blah. Me, I was not impressed. But let’s go through a rundown of the basic storyline for those unawares.
So Jane Eyre is a sort of self-biography of the character of Jane, an orphan whose aunt takes her in, but hates her. The aunt sends Jane off to boarding school, where illness breaks out, however Jane survives and excells. She stays for 8 years, 2 of which as a teacher, and finally leaves at 18 to become a governess. She is taken in to look after an orphan french girl named Adele, and lives a content life until the master of the manor returns- Mr Rochester. Whom she initially has no real feelings towards, but then loves. Mr Rochester appears to love another, which Jane accepts, however eventually it is discovered that he is indeed in love with her. Problems arise, where Jane cannot marry him although she wishes to, and so she runs away. During this time she becomes a teacher and discovers her only living family, and then the end of the story she basically lives happily ever after. Joys.
Well, there was also some sort of mystery (apparently) which detected to be the question of who or what lived in the third floor, and if it was indeed Grace Poole, who seemed insane. Though really, it was not that much of a mystery, more of an odd trailing storyline that came and went every now and then.
Now onto my view of this story. Sure, it is quite informative, and sure, after 200 pages i really got into the story (about the time when Mr. Rochester brings the party back to his place is when I really started to enjoy this story) but it took me so long to get into the book initially. It was interesting, yes, but it was hard to read- the language doesn’t really flow like it does in today’s books, but that is more to do with the way people spoke and wrote back then. There is the fact that it is also sometimes hard to follow, but again I chalk that up to the language being different today. My main issue with the book is that the character of Jane just plain annoyed me. Her choices were mostly rather idiotic in my book- why on earth did she run away? Why, instead of thinking and talking like a rational person, did she just dismiss everything and run away in the dead of the night? why? because she is an annoying character.
But this aside, it was an interesting read. I am glad that I did take the time to read this book, don’t mistake me for regretting this read. No, my dislike lays more with the difficulty of reading the book due to the language being hard for me to understand and follow, which meant that instead of being able to skim sentences and still get the main idea of the story, I actually had to read each and every word and interperet it’s apparent meaning in that sentence before I could move onto the next- very time consuming.
Jane Eyre rating: Well on my goodreads account, I gave it a 2/5- I mean, it was OK but I’m not gonna run out to read it again, you know? But in my 10 rating system on this blog, I’ll make it a 4/10. It was good, but it just wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed all the way through. I found myself struggling the entire way, making a chore out of finishing the book rahter than the pleasure it should have been.
Would I re-read it? No. Well, maybe in years I may re-read it out of curiosity as to how my tastes have changed as I have gotten older, however at the moment I doubt I would ever re-read it. Some love this book, some consider it a classic, but for me, it is something that I have read once and I am now done.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of literature from the 1800’s will enjoy this- so if you are an avid reader of the other Bronte sisters or Jane Austen, then yeah you’ll enjoy this. Also, I would say that this is one of those books that any avid reader should read at least once in their lives, just so they can say they have. It’s a classic, I can see the draw it would have to people, and I am in no way saying don’t read it. On the contrary, pick up this book and have a flick. The language is obviously english, but it is so different to how we talk today that it can transport you to another time, it gives you an insight into how the world worked in a different time, and the classics are made to be read.
I won’t post any internet links to this book because it pre-dates the internet and all living humans. It sits in the column of classic literature, and it is something that people should read. I am glad I have, even if it was something I took pains to finish. Now done, I feel achieved and quite happy to add this to my list of books I have read in my life. So please pick up a copy and read it, it’s one of those things that you can get in every library or second-hand store. Enjoy.