Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre

10463536Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
(classic)

I will be honest: I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. Some of my friends (on the blog and IRL) have said they loved this book and hoped I loved it too. Well, that (for me) often spells disaster. I end up expecting too much, or the hopes that I will enjoy it get in the way, or I feel guilty when I don’t like it as much as it was hoped I would. But not so with this one. Since I’m being honest, I will also say that I didn’t love Jane Eyre. I did really like it, though, and I found it an incredibly smooth and easy read.

One of the thoughts that comes to mind whenever I pick up a classic thesis days it “how well did it age?” and this one was no exception. I was worried that the characters wouldn’t be sympathetic as seen in today’s cultural light, but that didn’t end up being a problem for me. Yes, women were treated with a lot less importance than their male counterparts. Yes, some of the serving class was treated as inferiors or thought poorly of. However, the way it was presented made it more of a window to its time, and not an indication of how things “were supposed to be”. It helped that Jane Eyre herself was both of the working class (as a governess) and a woman, and yet kept to her moral views and grew as a character.

I think I’m glad I read this now, as a grown adult instead of as a teenager. As I was comparing my thoughts to those of some of my friends on Goodreads, I saw comments about how the expectation of this book is that it’s a love story… yet it is so much more. Yes, there is a love story. Yes, if you know anything about the love stories from this time period you can guess at most (if not all) of the plot twists. But, there is more depth to Jane’s character than I had expected from this book, and I really appreciate that.

Rating: 4 stars

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