I picked up Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte at a hostel in Auckland. I was so hesitant to go down the classic genre route again after Anna Karenina, but decided to give it a go. It is a classic for a reason after all. The story is written as an autobiography of the female main character, Jane Eyre. It was published in 1847 so this was truly the first novel of its kind at publication.
The book starts in Jane’s childhood when she is 10 years old. Then it spends a bit of time there, but quickly fast fowards to when she is 18 and her life truly begins. The story follows along her character and moral development in a very personal way. There are times Jane addresses the reader directly and it feels as if you are hearing a real person tell their life story. It does become a love story, but not in mushy way. I think the book is really realistic for the time period. I wouldn’t say it’s dry, but it definitely lacks the flourishes, flare, and dramatics that we find in today’s novels. I don’t think that kind of writing was used yet. It is a nice change of pace especially if you want to immerse yourself into a former time period.
If you are looking for a classic book to expand your repertoire this is a good one to do so.
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?