Friday, April 8, 2011

New Reads:

"At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë." —Virginia Woolf

I first read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte in the 8th or 9th grade. As a kid, I had a weird fascination with books that were deemed "classics" and set out on a mission to read them all. I don't remember much about this book though. Sure, I remember the basic plot but I can't remember how I felt about it -- whether or not I liked it. 

So with this new remake coming out, I decided I should read it again before I saw the movie (I love movies based on books, especially period pieces). 

I am about halfway done now and pretty much with every chapter, I find myself wondering how it's possible I had such lukewarm feelings for this story. It's got all my favorite things: orphans, boarding schools, ghosts, mysteries, love, strong female leads, and beautiful language. I find myself falling in love with this story with every page. It's like Charlotte Bronte wrote it just for me. I'm pretty sure I would have gotten along swimmingly with the Bronte sisters, especially Charlotte. And so the only explanation I can come up with as to why it has taken me this long to realize how amazing this is, is that when I originally read it, I was young, distracted, and impatient with the lengthy writing style and volume of pages. I don't think I understood a lot of what was underneath all that language. But I'm glad I'm rereading it. It is fast becoming one of my favorite novels.

From Amazon:

"Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester.  

The loneliness and cruelty of Jane’s childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice. Ever since its publication in 1847, Jane Eyre has enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving and unforgettable portrayal of a woman's quest for self-respect."

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