JANE EYRE BOOK REVIEW
This is obviously a book review of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. In this post, you’ll find what the book is about, why it’s an important piece of literature, when it’s the best time to read it, as well as some beautiful quotes, movie adaptations, and similar reads, in case you want more like this.
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That being said, Jane Eyre was quite unique when it was first published in 1847. Definitely ahead of its time, no other author had previously elaborated on a character’s spiritual and moral concerns as Charlotte Bronte did. Besides that, the book approaches modern themes like sexuality, feminism, race, and religion. All of Bronte’s ideas were considered daring back then, but they made the book stand out and now it’s one of the best and most popular classic and romance novel.
So Jane Eyre follows the journey of the title character through life until she reaches adulthood and marries. The action is set somewhere in northern England during King George III’s reign. It starts with a 10-year-old orphan Jane, whose parents die of typhus. As a consequence, she remains in her maternal uncle’s family care. After the death of the uncle, as per his wish, Jane gets to live with his family at Gateshed Hall. This is where her aunt Sarah and her two daughters treat her unfairly and bully her because they see her as a burden.
As a way of getting rid of her, however, Mrs. Reed sends her to the Lowood Institution, a charity school for poor and orphan girls. Jane’s life here isn’t much better though, as she suffers humiliation and receives poor meals and clothing. But this is where she knows friendship and human connections thanks to Helen Burns, another orphan girl, and Miss Temple, a compassionate superintendent. It is also at Lowood that she experiences emotional pain due to losing someone dear.
After she leaves the school, Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall for a little French girl. Here, she meets the mysterious, arrogant, and grumpy master, Edward Fairfax Rochester. Even though their relationship starts off on the wrong foot (with Rochester accusing Jane of bewitching his horse), the more time they spend together, the more they enjoy each other’s company.
Amid their growing feelings, creepy things take place at Thornfield. Things like odd laughs, an inexplicable fire, and a random attack on a house guest. But despite this, Jane agrees to marry Mr. Rochester, because she truly fell in love. During the ceremony, however, Jane’s happiness is crushed by the revelation of a dark secret that prevents them from getting married.
Having to choose between following her heart by compromising her principles and staying true to her values, Jane leaves Thornfield Hall. In her attempt to get as far away from Rochester and that house, she travels by foot and endures starvation until she reaches Moor House. To her surprise, she finds that St. John Rivers (the master of the house) and his sisters are her cousins and that their uncle John Eyre has left his entire fortune to her.
Soon after, St. John proposes marriage to Jane, but she declines. Her heart is still with Edward, and after mystically hearing him call her name, she rushes back to Thornfield. The house she finds, however, is in ruins from a fire, the personnel gone, and Rochester alive, but losing his eyesight and a hand. So now that he’s repented, Jane assures him of her love, and they marry for real this time.
RATE & THOUGHTS
I give Jane Eyre five out of five stars. It’s a book that stays with you after you finish it. At least, it was for me. That speaks of its quality and likability. Because even if it’s not one of your favorite books, you can find something in there to appreciate and think about afterward.
My experience reading the book
In my case, reading Jane Eyre was a phenomenal experience. You know what they say, that there are books that awaken the love of reading, you just have to find the right one? Well, for me, it was Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (along with Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden).
Charlotte’s writing completely pulled me inside the story and for the first time in my life back then, I wanted the book to be longer and longer, so I wouldn’t finish it quickly. It was one of those cases when what I was reading was much more interesting than my real life and I wanted to keep living in the book.
What I liked
- I also want to point out the aspects that stood out to me and made me love this book. One of these is the description of Thornfield Hall. It’s gothic, it’s mysterious, and it catches a life of its own thanks to everything that happens inside its walls.
- Jane’s character and growth is another one. A modern woman for that century. She thinks for herself, stands up for what she believes, and works for her independence. The way she filters her thoughts and actions through her morals. The way she knows her worth. She’s a rational human being who refuses to blindly follow her heart to the detriment of her values. Even if it means that will bring her emotional discomfort.
- But above all, Bronte’s ability to make Jane relatable to the point that I could feel what she was feeling.
SHOULD YOU READ JANE EYRE?
The answer is absolutely YES! However, to fully savor Jane Eyre’s universe, I think you must read it at the right time.
So what is the right time? Well, first, you have to be in the mood to read something meaningful that makes you feel and think. So if you feel like reading a complex story, or you want to experience all kinds of emotions, or you want to try a longer novel that keeps you invested, then that’s a good moment to start this masterpiece.
Also, when it happens for you to be melancholic or in the mood for British gothic themes, read this! It will be the perfect match for your state of mind. You can get in on Amazon below!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a bit shallow (nothing wrong with that, by the way; we all need that sometimes), maybe fast-paced, no-brainers that are easy to understand or just to pass the time, DO NOT choose this novel. If you want a 100% romance book, again, skip this. If you want something spicy, with more romance, shorter, and fast-paced, look into these feel-good romance novels.
BOOKS LIKE JANE EYRE AND MOVIE ADAPTATIONS
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Emma by Jane Austen
There have been countless adaptations of Jane Eyre, including film, television, and theater. My favorite and the one movie I recommend has to be the 2011 movie starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, and Judy Dench. It’s not 100% accurate (that’s to be expected), but it captures the vibe and atmosphere of that time. Plus, the main actors do a fabulous job portraying the famous characters.
You can watch this and other adaptations on Amazon Prime Video. Click the banner below to start your FREE TRIAL and take advantage of Amazon’s streaming services. If you don’t want to keep your subscription after the trial ends, you can easily cancel it before the scheduled payment, and you won’t be charged.
That’s it for Jane Eyre. If you found this useful, you should check my list of bookish freebies and easily download yours. There are reading journals, checklists, book recs, and more.