TITLE: Jane Eyre
AUTHOR: Charlotte Bronte
RATING: ★★★★ (4/5)
My reading pace shot up in the last couple of weeks. I've asked for lots of books for Christmas and am getting very worried when I think about where I'm going to put them. On the bright side, I have two new books to review! Jane Eyre and The Book Thief. Our reading club started up again this week too, and I'm going to be reading a lot of books for that, so you may have to bear with me for a while. But I have a lot to say about Jane Eyre. It took a while to get through it but it really touched me in ways I didn't expect.
Jane Eyre is one of those books you see everywhere and always tell yourself that you're going to read it. For me, I did it for about five years until I realised it was the perfect novel to compare with Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Both books include large, daunting houses, bleak landscapes and tortured heroes - in this case I found Mr Rochester was a lot more likable than Heathcliff. But I could definitely see the comparisons, the two girls had obviously been very influence by their shared childhood.
The story follows the title character through her time as an orphan living with a spiteful aunt, moving to a boarding school, and finally taking up a position as a governess where she falls in love with the brooding Mr Rochester. The narrative of the book is beautiful, it found it wonderfully written. Of course, there are always time in classic books where I find there have been parts which are dragged out. It happened especially with Pride and Prejudice and I found it happened with this one. But the parts which were exciting were very exciting, and I found I couldn't tear myself away.
The characters really make this book. Like Heathcliff, Rochester is a romantic and passionate, although he loses the intensity which draws many readers away from the former. Rochester is first and foremost a romantic hero, but we only learn that he hides a dark secret the further we delve into the book. It is then that we realise all is not as it seems, and we stick with Jane as she attempts to keep to her morals through these this difficult journey.
But, like all Bronte novels, the setting and atmosphere really has a large influence. Jane spends a lot of her time outside among fields and trees in heavy weather. It's here that many of the main events take place, as well as showing elements of pathetic fallacy. The landscape is distinct and fits in perfectly with the tortured and withered characters. I'd definitely recommend it to any fan of Wuthering Heights, or really any fan of classic gothic literature.
At the moment I'm reading The Great Gatsby. So far it's going brilliantly. I have also picked up a very cute looking book in book club called Goblins, and I'll update on that once I'm finished. Last week I finished The Book Thief, and I'd like to get that review down before the film comes out in January! The Book Thief was absolutely fantastic, and I recommend to everyone who loves books, religion, history, war, child narrators, and basically books that will change your life.
The cricket has started again, although we lost out first test match! Boo! I'll be updating next once I've finished Gatsby.
Until then, thanks for reading!