Monday, May 28, 2007

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brontë

ISBN # 9780140620115

Publisher: Penguin Classics

First Published: 1847

447 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 8/10

Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer,
Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre (1847) dazzled and shocked readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.

I must have been one of the very few people on the planet who knew absolutely nothing about this novel before coming to it; indeed, other than the eponymous heroine, none of the character names or places were even known to me, not to mention any of the plot developments. How I escaped any foreknowledge of even the basics, I do not know, but it meant that, in coming to this novel fresh, I could enjoy each twist and turn as it arrived, without thinking ahead to what conclusion might be arrived at eventually.

Between the covers, I found 447 pages of some of the most beautiful writing I have ever experienced: The descriptions of the various locales were such that I could almost feel the wind blowing over the moor and the dank, oppressiveness of Lowood School; the characters, far from being the usual beauteous creatures depicted in many a novel, both classic and contemporary, were plain and homely-looking, and were physically appealing to very few others (throughout the proceedings, the appearance of Miss Eyre is commented upon as being far from pleasing), which made a refreshing change; the plot developments were perfectly timed, so that every drop could be wrung out, without turning sour, before moving on to the next; and some scenes actually had me weeping, whether in sorrow or joy, at the situation of the characters.

I cannot believe I left it so long to experience this novel (and experience it I did!), and it has whet my appetite for further acquaintance with the works of Charlotte Bronte, as well as those of her sisters.


Blogger Anjel said...

Hey there - your blog rocks! I'm gonna keep reading and i've linked it to mine (hope that's ok). Drop by anytime!

2:29 am  
Blogger The Book Fiend said...

Thanks, Anjel - I'm glad you like it! And of course it's ok to link to my blog. The more the merrier!

5:28 am  

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