I remember reading this book when I was in 9th grade and absolutely loving it. But I remembered so little about the story. Of course, I knew Jane Eyre was a penniless governess who falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester, and he with her. I remember the mysterious happenings on the third floor of the mansion and even the fire. But that was it. When I started reading this book again, it opened with the story of Jane as a ten-year-old being mistreated by her aunts and cousins. Was I even reading the same story? She went to a boarding school? She ran away from Mr. Rochester after learning that he had a wife? I thought she learned that at the time of the fire. Where did these cousins come in? Wow, isn't it amazing the things you can forget over forty years' time? Since I have never seen movies made from the book, it was almost like experiencing it for the first time. Which was pretty neat. What can I say? It's a great story, a great romance, and Jane Eyre is a great character. I love how strong she is (except for when under the thrall of her cousin, St. John. He was creepy.) She had such moral conviction and deep passion. I love that neither she nor Mr. Rochester were good-looking, but were attracted to the better qualities of the other, and maybe even some of the faults. The story captured me. True, I found the dialogue to be stilted and silly; but probably true to the time the book was written. It sure took a long time to say anything, didn't it? But the book is a classic, and I can certainly understand why? I should try to not wait another forty years to read it again. Here's a quote I picked out from many good ones:
"We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most often 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. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester. Looking up, I, with tear-dimmed eyes, saw the mighty Milky-Way. Remembering what it was -- what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of light -- I felt the might and strength of God."
The book is filled with some great thoughts on Diety, right and wrong, morality versus immortality, even religious over-zealousness. Good lessons that don't feel preachy because the story is so enthralling. If you want to read a classic, I recommend this one.
I realized that I posted this review on the wrong post. If you want to see my other book reviews, please visit Framed and Booked.