the plot: raised first by unkind relatives and later relegated to a hellish boarding school, the orphan jane learns to rely on her own inner strength,...morethe plot: raised first by unkind relatives and later relegated to a hellish boarding school, the orphan jane learns to rely on her own inner strength, moral convictions, and religious faith. she takes a job as a governess for the ward of the reclusive edward rochester, only to fall in love with him (view spoiler)[and accept his marriage proposal. on the day of their marriage, jane discovers that rochester is already married, to a madwoman whom he can't divorce. she leaves him, ends up in the house of her long-lost cousins, and discovers that an uncle has left her money, but before her domineering, missionary-in-training cousin, st. john rivers, can whisk her off to india to be his helpmeet, jane senses that rochester needs her and goes back to him. she discovers that rochester's wife set the house on fire, and that he was gravely wounded in a failed attempt to save her life. rochester acknowledges his guilt in trying to force jane into a bigamous marriage, and the two eventually marry (hide spoiler)].
the good: primarily, what's remarkable about jane eyre is the character of jane herself--a steely, self-assured young woman who takes charge of her own life. despite a soul-killing experience as a teaching drudge at her boarding school, jane's spirit is never broken. when her situation at the school becomes unpleasant, she make the decision to change her life and acts upon it with courage and decisiveness--no mean feat for a 18 year old girl with no money or friends in 19th century england. she holds her own against rochester's passive-aggressive mind games until the guy actually offers her a substantial emotional commitment, and she refuses to allow him to change her or compromise her sense of right and wrong. the only person who comes close to dominating jane is her terrifying cousin st. john, who all but stalks her in her own house as he tries to convince her to throw her life away in the service of god (and of himself), but jane manages to shake him off as well, and as the book ends she is the mistress of her own life.
even more intriguing is the fact that throughout her perils of pauline, jane remains believably and lovably human. she's steely, but not hardened; moral, but not preachy; religious, but not a proselytizer . for all her superhuman accomplishments, jane has unmistakable feet of clay, and nowhere is this more apparent than in her obvious sexual attraction to rochester. although it's never spelled out, there's a prominent undercurrent of desire in each of their shared scenes, which gives both the characters and the relationship an added dimension that's all-too-often missing from 19th century romances. unlike too many other brontë heroines, jane isn't ruled by her desire, but the fact of its existence arguably makes her triumph over it a greater moral accomplishment than anything we see from austen's heroines, for whom sexuality is a non-issue.
the bad: in a room of one's own, virginia woolf wrote of jane eyre that "it is clear that anger was tampering with the integrity of charlotte brontë the novelist. she left her story, to which her entire devotion was due, to attend to some personal grievance." woolf is referring here to a scene in which brontë allowed her own anger at being shut away from the world take over jane's thoughts, but to my mind the same sort of score-settling is obvious in the novel's first segment, the monstrous lowood school. charlotte herself spent several years at such a school and watched her two older sisters, maria and elizabeth, succumb to illness due to the poor conditions there. as a result of her still-simmering anger at this mistreatment, the lowood section is disproportionately long, and features some of the most obvious moralizing in the book.
but the lowood section does end, and if it (and the rather absurd deus ex machina that is Jane stumbling, in the middle of a cold and rainy night, on a house that happens to contain her long-lost cousins who have just been informed of the fact that Jane has inherited a fortune) were the novel's only flaws, it would still have a very near claim on perfection, but where jane eyre fails is in its fundamental perception of itself as a romance. the book offers a bleak vision of what an intelligent, strong-willed woman can look forward to when she goes searching for a mate. if she's lucky, she can avoid the fate of being shackled to her intellectual superior, who will bully and belittle her, use her for his own purposes with no regard for her identity or personhood. but, out of the frying pan and into the fire! for, as brontë tells us, the intelligent woman who avoids this fate has only one other option: to be tied down to a needy, selfish, intellectual inferior, and spend her life as his savior, his mother, and his nurse. there's no question that rochester undergoes a change over the course of the novel--from a man whose every early conversation with jane revolved around how she might help and save him, he learns to think of the needs of others, and he has the scars to prove it--but not enough to make the notion of someone as remarkable as jane wasting herself on a person whom she will soon outstrip in every regard at all palatable. to put it simply, jane eyre is about as romantic as carrie.
sing me to sleep has a dreamlike, unreal quality to it, although it does contain slices of the life-pie. narrated by beth or 'the beast' as she's...more1.5/5
sing me to sleep has a dreamlike, unreal quality to it, although it does contain slices of the life-pie. narrated by beth or 'the beast' as she's being called by the other students and ultimately dubs herself too, her voice is the one beautiful thing she thinks she posesses, besides her best male friend since grade school who suffered with her, through years of humiliation and bullying. then at one point, come's the chance to sing in lausanne (switzerland) at a competition. she undergoes a transformation from the beast into the beauty. now, the outside "matches" her inside. she falls in love. and that's that.
only it isn't.
there's the love-triangle, between her male best friend (scott), who's known her for a long time, familiar with all her flaws and fears and been in love with her for quite some time and on the other side of the river, we have the boy she meets in switzerland, the choir boy, derek. when it's revealed that he's (view spoiler)[sick with cystic fibrosis, the protagonist is surprised, since she believed him to be a drug addict all the time. in the end, --he dies, as she 'sings him to sleep'. afterwards beth seeks comfort at the shoulder of her neglected friend, scott. (hide spoiler)]
the only thing that makes this stand out, is the fact that the author knew one such guy. she fabricated a love story within the melodrama and sold it as a book. what disturbed me the most was probably the unhealthy relationship she had with derek. the way he tried to pull at her puppet strings, make her do the things which suited him and all the while telling his white lies.
the story itself is fine, there are worse books out there. i don't want to keep anyone from reading this, i guess i've been in touch one too many times with these kind of sappy stories *points accusing finger at nicholas sparks*. the land of cheese, chocolate, dürrenmatt, frisch, heidi, neutrality and now: morrison's sing me to sleep. i'm trying to forget this story, as i am currently residing in switzerland.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
somewhere along the lines of the virgin suicides, only with a less detached point of view and also more positive, i think because of it's hopeful note...moresomewhere along the lines of the virgin suicides, only with a less detached point of view and also more positive, i think because of it's hopeful note and the promise of good things to happen.
and if that doesn't win you over, hold still has wonderful little doodles scattered all over the book by mia nolting!(less)
2 stars for the (view spoiler)[reincarnated (hide spoiler)] deadly beautiful (aren't they always, --sigh) star crossed lovers plot device 3 stars for a...more2 stars for the (view spoiler)[reincarnated (hide spoiler)] deadly beautiful (aren't they always, --sigh) star crossed lovers plot device 3 stars for atmosphere, setting & writing
the rights to laini taylor's imaginative story about a mysterious girl, an otherworldly romance and demons who traffic in teeth has been bought by universal pictures, according to a statement from the studio. [ article ]
"all of the characters and storylines in this work are fictitious."
not so far from the truth afterall ... graham young, (1947-1990), an english serial killer. he is notable for his obsession with the use of poison, and for having been imprisoned for murder in his teens, only to kill again after his release. he was fascinated from a young age by poisons and their effects. in 1961 at 14 he started to test poisons on his family, enough to make them violently ill.
"none of the information enclosed is for practical use and is in no way intended as a guide."
oh, but it is.
"plant poisons can be dangerous when used incorrectly and should only be handled by a qualified professional. the moral of the poison diaries is that plants can kill."
This Girl Is Different was a breath of fresh air, as much as it irritated the crap out of me.
Having been homeschooled for years, Evie's ready to go to...moreThis Girl Is Different was a breath of fresh air, as much as it irritated the crap out of me.
Having been homeschooled for years, Evie's ready to go to school for real. Along the way she befriends a girl (Jacinda) and a boy (Rajas). School turns out to be not so cool afterall. Evie's used to eating selfmade organic foods & drinks, milking cows, feeding the (piranha) chickens, drawing snakes, living in a geodesic dome and calling her mother "Martha", it's quite a shock to discover teachers being romantically involved with students and being sexist that Evie decides to do something about it. The three (Evie, Jacinda, Rajas) of them cobble together a blog writing about the abuse of these authorities anonymously in the name of justice, but soon things start to get out of control ...
On the one hand Evie was seriously awesome and admirable for standing up to authorities doing her thing without being overbearing (BTW: look out for those quotes at the beginning of each chapter!), but then ... I don't know, I seriously began to doubt her, when it came to (sex-crazed jerk) Rajas (Yah, not really a spoiler, as the sparks fly in first couple of pages), backstabbing friends and her easily granting forgiveness.
Anyway, there were some things which haven't actually been resolved with the ending of the book, but I guess that's fine.
"for eight years i dreamed of fire. trees ignited as i passed them, oceans burned. the sugary smoke settled in my hair as i slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as i rose. even so, the moment my mattress started to burn, i bolted awake. the sharp, chemical smell was nothing like the hazy syrup of my dreams; the two were as different as indian and carolina jasmine, separation and attachment. they could not be confused.
standing in the middle of the room, i located the source of the fire. a neat row of wooden matches lined the foot of the bed. they ignited, one after the next, a glowing picket fence across the piped edging. watching them light, i felt a terror unequal to the size of the flickering flames, and for a paralyzing moment i was ten years old again, desperate and hopeful in a way i had never been before and would never be again."