"Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre to this day entrances readers with its passionate portrayal of a woman struggling to make a life for herself in a cruel and indifferent world. As orphan Jane becomes governess at Thornfield Hall, she falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester, only to discover that he has a terrible secret, one which may jeopardize their future happiness. Jane Eyre's struggle for independence has echoed with readers ever since."
As you may have gathered from the previous reviews on this blog, my literary tastes are not very sophisticated. My favourite authors range all the way from Matthew Reilly to - God forbid! - Stephenie Meyer. I'm not really into classics, and to be honest, I can't see why some of them are considered 'classics' in the first place. For example, The Great Gatsby. It was an OK story. I have no idea why it's a 'classic' though. I didn't like it much - but then, I suppose dislike goes with almost every text that you are forced to study for English.
Jane Eyre is the one exception. I can see exactly why it's a classic, and I genuinely love the story.
And yet it's difficult to pinpoint why I like it so much. I think what appeals to me most is the sense of mystery - what's going on in the attic? What's up with that Grace Poole anyway? What's Mr. Rochester trying to hide? The revelations that follow serve to increase the drama and suspense, without seeming completely outlandish and ridiculous, and without turning the story into a run-of-the-mill soap opera.
Admittedly, there were quite a lot of characters that I just wanted to punch in the face - mainly the hypocritical ones - and reading of Jane's childhood and adolescence was depressing and frustrating. However this just causes me to admire Jane's character even more, since she managed to get through such horrendous ordeals growing up, and did not turn out to be a serial killer.
I think that's the best thing about Jane Eyre - Jane's amazing determination, strong moral grounding and endless patience that I could never hope to achieve. She never gives up, never abandons her principles, and hardly ever blows her top at anyone. Thankfully, in the end, she is finally rewarded.
I also like the fact that I was able to buy this for just ten bucks at Dymocks.
RATING: A richly woven narrative with mystery, drama, and genuine classic appeal. 5 STARS