Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Source: Personal collection

Synopsis: We first fine Jane Eyre as a ten year old little girl living with her wicked aunt Mrs. Reed and her three snotty nosed little children: Georgiana, Eliza, and John. Sadly, the Reed family is the only family that Jane has left in the world. Her parents were killed and her uncle Reed took her in as an infant despite Mrs. Reed’s protests. On her uncle’s death bed he begs his wife to promise to look after Jane and treat her as if she was one of her own. Unfortunately, Mrs. Reed was not able to live up to her dying husbands wishes. Jane is told repeatedly that she is an evil, spiteful little girl who is going to hell and is brutally punished by Mrs. Reed daily. 

One day Mrs. Reed decides she has had enough and can no longer look after Jane. So she sends her off to the Lowood boarding school for girls. The environment at the Lowood school is very strange to Jane and she has a bit of a rough time with it at first until she meets a compassionate teacher and a kind friend who both look after her and show her the first kindness she has ever felt. We are soon transported eight years later and Jane is now an eighteen year old girl working as a teacher at the Lowood school. She soon realizes that she can’t stay there forever and needs to move on in her life. 

So she puts an ad in the local paper advertising for a position as a governess. She only receives one reply from a Mrs. Fairfax of Thornfield Hall. Jane is unaware at how much Thornfield Hall will change her life forever. For one thing she doesn’t know that Mrs. Fairfax is merely the housekeeper and that the real owner is Mr. Edward Rochester; a wealthy bachelor who takes an interest in Jane’s simplicity and unique aspect of life. We soon discover that Mr. Rochester has a dark side and seems to be keeping many secrets. Jane is the only one who can go toe to toe with Mr. Rochester and she seems to be the only one who understands him.

Review: I must admit I was a bit of a skeptic. I didn’t know whether I would like Jane Eyre, let alone be able to finish the almost 700 page novel. I tend to find classic literature to be a bit dry and I’m sorry to say a major snooze fest with the exception of Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice, which is one of my favorite books of all time and my second favorite movie, which follows Elizabeth the Golden Age. However, I must be acquiring a taste for the classics because I was in complete awe of Jane Eyre! I loved, loved, loved it!

The reason I buckled down and read this book is because I saw the movie trailer for Jane Eyre and I knew I had to see it, but I couldn’t watch the movie until I read the book because that is just how I am. At first I found the book a bit difficult to read due to the old English style of writing but I found it got easier once I picked up the dictionary and looked up some of the words I was having difficulty comprehending. I think what I loved most about this book was the mystery behind it! I wanted to know what Mr. Rochester’s secret was. I went back and forth from one idea to another, which kept me interested. I have to share with you my two favorite quotes in this book:

1. "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you." 

2. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will."
- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
I highly recommend Jane Eyre! It’s full of mystery, tragedy, love and vulnerability. At times I couldn’t put it down. I just hope in reading the book I didn’t spoil the movie because I tend to find that movies don’t usually live up to the book.


  1. One of my favorite novels! I'm glad you liked it, and I'm really looking forward to the movie. I hope they do the book justice.

  2. i just read this book a couple of weeks ago! i like the quotes you picked very much! :)

  3. I just can't get myself to read it. I've been meaning to read all the books by the Bronte sisters. I'm nearly done, I even read Agnes Grey which was...interesting, I'm tryin to get myself to read it though. I'm glad you liked it, maybe I'll like it too.

  4. @ Carole Rae
    I highly recommend it! I had to force myself to read it and force myself to continue to read it but I'm so glad I did because it gets better and better to where I just couldn't put it down!

  5. Great review! I listened to it on audiobook and I am excited to go see the movie tonight.

  6. @ Alexis

    I'm so jealous that you get to see the movie! It's an independent film which don't come to my city very often so it didn't come to our local theaters. So now I have to wait till it comes out on DVD. Major let down!

  7. I posted a review of the new movie today - I absolutely loved it! Now I need to finish re-reading the novel and re-watch the 2006 miniseries version. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book!