After deciding it was time for another classic, I decided to opt for “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte (excuse the fact my phone can’t cope with umlauts). Whilst it is far from a perfect book I found the novel to be an extremely easy read with a detailed and enthralling story. It’s been a while since I struggled to put a book down between sittings. At times I was so involved in the story line that I read for over two hours twice a day! Although the book is not very long it took me a little while to read as the language and story proved considerably complex. “Jane Eyre” is not your conventional page turner, but any lover of classic literature will find it a sheer joy to behold.
I had a mixture of feelings towards the two main characters- Jane and Mr Rochester. When an older Jane starts her story by recounting her youth I had a lot of sympathy for her troubled upbringing, helped along the way by Bronte’s superb first person narrative, though my feelings changed slightly towards the older Jane. In terms of the decisions Bronte had her make I couldn’t decide if she was far too understanding towards Mr Rochester or far too harsh! Part of of me felt the character lacked gumption, yet another part of me felt she could be awkward and condescending. In regards to Mr Rochester, I couldn’t decide if Bronte made him a tad TOO charismatic! At times he could come across as arrogant, which can be a tad irritating when someone is a major character in a novel.
Other than a few outdated terms, and the lack of translation for Adele’s (once again, excuse my phone’s lack of understanding of foreign punctuation) French, the writing throughout the book was a pleasure to read. The description was some of the most vivid I have read. In fact, my only criticism of it could be that parts of the book suffered slightly due to being “over described”! Some of the description did feel a little excessive, however one can’t fault the way it was composed. I can’t recall spotting a single error in the duration of the book, a fact that contributed to “Jane Eyre” being a surprisingly easy read.
Overall I can think of few faults with the book, although one thing must prevent me from giving it a perfect 10/10 (something I’m aware I haven’t given out since “Harry Potter”, which was a reread rather than a book I read for the first time). The fault I refer to is the final 3/4 of a page of the novel. Whilst I won’t spoil the ending, I will disclose thar the two things I was willing not to occur managed to occur within a few lines of eachother on that final page. I was willing the two main characters to be happy together, but I would consider the final turn of events “soppy”, for want of a better word. Another thing I found a little irritating was that the book ended on a religious note. Due to the time period the book was written in it frequently refers to religion, something I had grown to accept. However, as an Atheist I was rather hoping the book would not have a religious summary. Unfortunately I was unlucky in that respect…
“It is not violence that best overcomes hate- nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury.”