22 May 2014

REVIEW: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

Genre: Gothic Romance, Classic.

Publication Date: 1999 (Originally published 1847)

Publisher: Sandstone Publishing

Format: Hardback

Pages: 466

Rating: 5/5

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. 

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

I admit, I’m kind of ashamed of how long it took me to get to this book. I’m not the world’s biggest classic reader, but I really do enjoy them and so I felt a bit strange having never read Jane Eyre. It was actually the first classic I ever bought, back when I was about 14 or so and I was just starting to really get back into reading. I’m 18 now, so this was sitting on my shelves for at least four whole years before I read it. 

I think one of the greatest things about classics like Jane Eyre is that you sort of know the basics of the story before you start it, whether that’s through adaptations, references in other books or movies or through family or friends. I saw the recent movie adaptation of Jane Eyre when it came out in 2011, and I enjoyed it. Though I’d originally only gone to see it for Harry Lloyd (massive crush alert!), I thought the story was interesting and the cinematography was beautiful in this strange, haunting way. Despite this, I was completely confused by the order of the film and I think this is what put me off the book.

For any of you who may feel the same way, let me tell you- that confusing backwards order of the film? Yeah, not so much in the book. I tend to separate movies and books in my head (as in, I don’t usually let movies influence my perceptions of the book- but I’ll have a post on that later this month), but I just found that the book made so much more sense. Because of that, I instantly loved the book. I thought that this would take me at least two to three weeks to read, but I read all of it within 24 hours. That’s how much I loved it. 

Now, let’s talk about Jane Eyre, as in the character. I’m going to admit now, she’s not my favourite heroine of all time nor is Mr Rochester my favourite love interest. There were moments when she absolutely drove me up the wall, and there was a lot of me sighing in exasperation (and quite a bit of ‘just love him already!’). There were also moments where I loved her- she’s an incredibly strong character but also very realistic. I mean, that’s why this is a classic, right? I think considering everything she’s put through, it’s a miracle that she didn’t end up completely mad. This being said, my favourite thing about her is her wit and intelligence (I think this is probably everyone’s). I know a lot of people love Mr Rochester, and I do too but I don’t know- he’s just not my favourite. I will admit, some of those lines made my heart flutter. 

While I loved pretty much everything, my favourite thing about this entire book was the writing. Obviously, I read a lot of YA and I think that sometimes author’s voices can blend together, so this was perfect. There’s something about the writing that makes it so beautiful and enthralling, even when the subject matter is as depressing as all hell, and it continues to haunt you. How can you do that, Charlotte? 

So yes, basically, I really, really love Jane Eyre now. I feel like an idiot for putting it off this long. And now I’m on this gothic romance literature kick and there’s no turning back. 

*This is our first review using GIFs, please let us know what you think of us including them.


  1. Thanks for they great review, Ely! I've wanted to read Jane Eyre for sooo long, but unfortunately have never got around to it. Hopefully I'll get to it soon - your review has definitely inspired me to read it! Also, I love GIF's in reviews, as long as there's not too many. :)

    1. Thank you for reading it, Ebony! It's soooooo good, you'll have to read it now so we can discuss it! Thanks again Ebony!

      x Ely