25 January 2009

January Classic: Jane Eyre

So I've always felt vaguely guilty about never having read any of the Brontes. I never had to do them at school, and then it just never happened. A friend recently lent me The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, and I thought she was going to slap me when I revealed that I'd not actually read Jane Eyre itself. Hurried promises were made (and kept!) to read it IMMEDIATELY which I did, and I have to say I am in love. I am head over heels, and not just with the snarky, sexy Mr Rochester, but with the whole book.
Just in case you're like me and managed to make it through your life thus far without ever picking up Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece: the book tells the story of Jane Eyre (no, really?) through her childhood in the care of a cold and unfeeling aunt and her time at the harsh Lowood school, before she is employed as governess at Thornfield Manor, home of the mysterious and brooding Mr Rochester. Seriously, Darcy's got nothing on him. Jane and Rochester fall in love, but since this happens halfway through a pretty thick book, you can assume that you don't get the happy ending right away. The scandal! The drama! The intrigue! The insane sexual tension! Fantastic!

I am astounded at how involved I was in reading Jane Eyre - I am told my face was hilarious to watch when certain dramatic revelations took place. I cared so much about the characters and so much about what happened to them. This was a huge (and refreshing) change from many of the contemporary authors I read, where I am interested in what happens to characters, but in a detached kind of way. Charlotte Bronte makes you feel what Jane feels, when she is heartbroken, you are heartbroken, and when she is happy, you are ridiculously excited. If you've not read Jane Eyre I can only judge, if following this you do not go and pick it up immediately. 9/10
Search Engine Submission - AddMe