Jane Eyre

This is my book's cover, and I really love this image of Jane.

This is my book’s cover, and I really love this image of Jane.

Today I’m talking about one of my absolute favorite books ever. And I just watched the movie, which I am pleased to report stayed very faithful to Charlotte Bronte’s vision. I wish instead of Romeo and Juliet, THE WORST LOVE STORY EVER, we read Jane Eyre,  a REAL LOVE STORY (See last week’s post…)

These two play a wonderful Jane and Rochester.

Jane Eyre is “poor, plain, and little”, but not “soulless and heartless.” She hails from a harsh, loveless childhood; her parents and kindly uncle are dead, and her Aunt Reed ignores her oath to treat Jane as her own. Jane finally snaps and fights back, which gets her branded a liar and sent to  Lowood School, where she makes and loses friends and discovers her own worth.  Jane leaves school and applies as governess, which brings her to lonely Thornfield Hall. She is to teach a little French girl, Adele. Adele’s guardian and the owner of Thornfield is never there, and several months pass before Jane meets him.

In a dark twilight, Jane helps an injured man on the road, never dreaming he is her master. Edward Rochester is not handsome, as Jane frankly tells him; neither is Jane beautiful, as Rochester replies. But an intense kinship springs up between them, and Jane fears she is falling in love with him. But lucky for her, Rochester shuns his beautiful and wealthy paramour in favor of his little governess, who he demands marry him. Jane is happy to oblige. And that’s when things really get crazy…planning  a wedding ends with Jane stumbling through the moor alone and weak.

Strange things are happening at Thornfield Hall: whispers and shadows,  fires and stabbings, and intense love and heartbreak. Always in the shadows lurks a sinister Spector, and its presence threatens to tear Jane and Rochester apart forever.

How I love this book. It’s beautifully written, beautifully plotted, and wonderfully quotable.  Examples:

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

“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!”

“Am I hideous, Jane? Very, sir: you always were, you know.”

“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die:  I will be myself.”
“He is not to them what he is to me,” I thought: “he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine- I am sure he is- I feel akin to him- I understand the language of his countenance and movements: though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him.”
And my personal favorite…
“I know I must conceal my sentiments: I must smother hope; I must remember that he cannot care much for me. For when I say that I am of his kind, I do not mean that I have his force to influence, and his spell to attract: I mean only that I have certain tastes and feelings in common with him.I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered: – and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.”

Lindsay’s Verdict: Five stars

Author: Charlotte Bronte

Up Next: Anne of Green Gables Series


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