Monday, January 12, 2009

Jane Eyre

I read a classic! Hooray!

I tend to be very wary of books that are identified as "classics" because in my experience they tend to just be tragic. Or, at the very least, not terribly interesting. Luckily, there are a few that do not fit this generalization, and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is one of the good ones.

I had never picked it up before because I erroneously concluded that it would be tragic and generally a waste of my time like Wuthering Heights, since the authors were sisters. It was not tragic. It was more like a novel of suspense. I ripped through it in two days because I wanted to know what would happen. And, to my delight, the ending was satisfactory and not full of doom and gloom.

One of my favorite parts about reading this book is the underlying feeling of feminine power, that is, that women are in fact not subservient to men, that comes through even though this book was written in the 1800s. Fascinating!

That being said, I thought the ending was a little too quick for me. It seemed like you spent all this time on one thread of the story, then suddenly switched to another, then suddenly they were all tied up and it was over. Also, although I generally liked the ending except for the rushed-ness...the part about St. John was a little creepy to a modern reader. To a contemporary of the author it probably didn't come off in this way, but to me it was just a little...vindictive-feeling. But I really don't think it was meant to be. But maybe so. Maybe Ms. Bronte was clever like that. I dunno.

What I do know is that I have found a classic that was absorbing and well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat and that I can now actually recommend as one I liked. Saints be praised!

1 comment:

Charley said...

I'm waiting to receive this through Swaptree. I'm really looking forward to reading it!