“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” So begins the story of Jane Eyre, one of the most unexpectedly intriguing novels I’ve read in a very long time.
Title: Jane Eyre. Author: Charlotte Bronte (though first published under the pseudonym Currer Bell). Year of Original Publishing: 1847. Genre: Classic Romance.
My Thoughts: I have actually gotten this book from the library several times, though it has always been returned unopened for a variety of reasons (not the least of which being its self-described romantic nature). However, I decided to try it again on the recommendation of several friends, honestly not expecting much. Then I read the first paragraph, which drew me into a most intricately woven tapestry of thought and emotion that is Jane Eyre. Richly drawn scenes and complex characters fill every chapter of this 19th century masterwork, which is a combination of romance, drama, and mystery written in narrative style. Symbolism is found throughout, though it is not so abstract or heavy as to make the story difficult to understand. What struck me the most as I read, though, was how very human the characters seemed; especially Jane. As the voice of the novel, Jane is both poetically idealist and honestly flawed, lending credibility to her narrative. Her character alone will put this on my ‘Books to Revisit’ list. Oh, about the romantic plot at the center of the story? Though I thought it overly dramatic at points, it does not detract from the quality of the whole – rather, it adds layers of complexity to its subjects which cannot be discovered otherwise.
Sampling of Content:
I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
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!
There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.
We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.
Conclusion: If books were made of music instead of words, then Jane Eyre would have been composed by Beethoven.
What shall I review next? Another classic, or something more modern?