Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2010, Penguin Group (USA), Inc. (originally published in 1847)
Summary: Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester.
The loneliness and cruelty of Jane’s childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice. Ever since its publication in 1847, Jane Eyrehas enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving and unforgettable portrayal of a woman's quest for self-respect. (From borders.com)
My Thoughts: Many of you are probably wondering, "Why is she going to review Jane Eyre? She's had to have read a few times, at least once in high school." Well, this is my first time reading this wonderful novel, and I cannot believe that it took me so long to get around to reading such a wonderful book!
This book follows Jane Eyre from childhood throughout her life. We first meet Jane when she is about eight or nine years old, living with relatives. Her character is already so strong at this point, shining through clearly in the first few pages of the book! Jane continutes to tell her story, from being taken out of her horrible home to a institution for young girls (an orphan boarding school, basically). Jane's personality changes while she is there, and Bronte's writing style is so great because, while you realize that Jane is maturing and growing up, you are still rooting for her, wanting the best for her.
The characters in this story are great, deep, and rich. Watching Jane grow from a young girl into a woman is wonderful. Bronte did not use the female character archetype that was common in this period, with females depending on men; instead, she creates an independent woman in Jane, one who admonishes frequently that she can (and will) do things on her own, and she will find a way to live where others would be pointing out the things that she should not do (because of her gender). Jane is a great character and you are constantly rooting for her throughout the book. In addition to the cast of characters, Bronte's description of the settings is great. She pulls you in such a way that you feel as if you are resting in a moor with Jane. Her use of light and dark is also wonderful, and her descriptions of sunrises made me want to get up early and witness one (but let's not get carried away ... I still want my sleep!).
With suspense, intrigue, and romance, I believe that Bronte has written one of the greatest books of all time. It was a delight to read, and I will be sure to revisit Jane Eyre in the future.
My Rating: 10 stars!!!! (Seriously, this book was AMAZING!!!! If you haven't read it, you need to. And if you have already read it, then you need to revisit it!)
PS - Aren't you in love with that cover?!? It's one of Ruben Toledo's Couture Classics. He has done the cover art for six classic books ... you can check them all out here. Be careful though ... you may end up buying quite a few of them!