Saturday, 14 May 2016

Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brontë
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Pages: 672
Genres: Classics, Romance

Furiously Happy
As an orphan, Jane's childhood is full of trouble, but her stubborn independence and sense of self help her to steer through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal school. A position as governess at the Thornfield Hall promises a kind of freedom. But Thornfield is a house full of secrets, its master a passionate, tormented man, and before long Jane faces her greatest struggle in a choice between love and self-respect.
I am shocked it has taken me until my twenties to read Jane Eyre, it has instantly become one of my all time favourites. It is a Gothic classic with plenty of storms, hardships and dark twists and turns; I thought I knew the story of Jane Eyre from the various adaptations I have watched but there was more richness to the story than I ever could have imagined.

Jane starts the book as an unloved orphan, a burden to her aunt and she is eventually sent to Lowood school; a charitable institution for educating disadvantaged girls. It is very bleak and awful, and I really applauded young Jane's tenacity. The atmosphere of the whole book was just exquisite, in particular Thornfield Hall and the surrounding land felt eerie but beautiful and not to mention deeply mysterious; there was so much suspense that at times I found it unbearable.

The romance between Mr Rochester and Jane was so consuming, it took my breath away whilst reading. Mr Rochester was mysterious, passionate, dark and brooding; I absolutely adored his character. Jane was also a great heroine, I loved her independent spirit as she grappled against societal expectations for women at the time. She has a big and soft heart but I was never quite sure what she saw in St. John as I found him to be the dullest character ever in literature. The ending was just perfect, I could not have imagined it better. I can see myself re-reading this classic many times in future and savouring every gorgeous word.

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