Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

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Three and a half stars, read (finally!) in November 2010.

This book has been on my shelf since before I can remember. I’ve seen a few of the movie adaptations and I started reading it once or twice, but I never got past Jane’s years at Lowood. So when I created the “books I own but haven’t read yet” category in the 10/10/10 challenge, this was one of the first to go on the list. I’m really glad to finally have finished it, and I did like it . . . But actually, not as much as I expected to.

I have a bit of a hard time with Jane as a character. She’s kind of judgmental and self-righteous, actually. I hate how she talks to Mr. Rochester, particularly after the wedding fiasco when he is desperately fighting for her and she keeps telling him to turn to God. It’s true that her inner monologue assuages a little bit, since, as the reader, we can tell that her words maybe don’t completely match her feelings. But I just imagined saying those things myself, or having someone say them to me in a similar situation, and I thought, “She’s kind of a jerk.”

I don’t dislike Jane—she just has some traits that I find less than endearing. (Actually, she reminds me a bit of my former religious self.) And I do love the writing, particularly when I get to read it in this miniature edition which makes me feel rather Jane Eyre-y myself (or Elizabeth Bennett-y, really). But as far as the Bronte sisters go, I still prefer Wuthering Heights, which I now want to read again.

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