Rating: LOVED IT
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. (Source: Goodreads)
JANE EYRE was one of the first assigned books that I couldn’t put down. And I think it may have been the ONLY book I read and enjoyed in college. It has been almost 20 years and I still remember the euphoria of staying up into the wee hours reading and reading. So I jumped at the chance to revisit this old favorite during CLASSICS RETOLD.
Jane is completely relatable. Not only is she smart, funny and articulate, she is strong and impertinent in the face of all the crazy at Gateshead. OMG! And they have the nerve to cast her off…the only family she has left. Good riddance. Jane is quite a trooper actually finding a home within the Boarding School she was sent to. For me, I would have choked on its rigid religious, anti-female agenda. It is a wonder that she comes out so adjusted and not self-loathing and broken.
Rochester just delights me. Very Rhett Butler. He recognizes his own black marks, but knows it is his money that buys him a pass. He doesn’t expect to really find love, but when he does he is ALL IN. The tension and mutual amusement was so much fun to reread. Those sweet and innocent moments still translate to a level of intimacy today.
It is the ultimate heart-breaker. Kleenex worthy weeping. At times, I wasn’t sure who I was more mad at…Jane or the antiquated propriety. Jane is a better woman than I. I don’t know if I have that kind of strength. The strength to further break her already wounded heart. And John!! I want to punch his religious practicality in the face. To make her think she is only made to be a help-mate and not get to enjoy the passion of real love. JANE EYRE is definitely an emotional roller-coaster that holds up.
To know real LOVE and accept nothing less…Jane Eyre.