Vinaya's Reviews > Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
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it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-loved, re-reading-times-1-million

5. Four hundred-odd pages of purely descriptive writing
4. Overt religious themes and moral preaching
3. A plain-Jane heroine who stays plain. No makeovers to reveal a hitherto hidden prettiness that only needed an application of hydrogen peroxide and some eyebrow plucking to emerge full-blown.
2. The world is not well-lost for love. In the war between self-respect and grand passion, principles win hands down. Rousing, yet tender speeches do not make our heroine forsake her creed to fall swooning and submissive into her alpha's arms.
1. NO SEX!!!

When I was a little girl, I had a doll named Saloni. Now Saloni wasn't a particularly attractive specimen as dolls go, especially since, over the years, I had drilled a hole in her little rosebud mouth in order to 'feed' her, I had 'brushed' her hair till all the poor synthetic threads had fallen out and I had dragged her around with me so much, one of her big blue eyes had fallen off. But in my eyes, Saloni was the best doll ever created. She was my comfort, my mainstay in a world filled with confusing new things like school and daycare and other little people. Jane Eyre is my grown-up version of Saloni. Comfort food for my brain.

There are two authors I will read over and over and over again, until the day I die. One of them is Charlotte Bronte, the other one is Georgette Heyer. I have read Jane Eyre a million times, but I never tire of the story. Every time I reach the scene where she professes her love to Mr. Rochester, I come out in goosebumps. Every single time. Age and experience have taught me to spot the flaws in the story and the characters. The ineffable belief in English superiority. The condescending attitude towards servants and people of the lower class. The ill-treatment of mentally disabled people. The almost Quaker-ish sentiments of Jane Eyre. But all of this detracts not a whit from one of the greatest love stories ever told.

And there are a lot of things to admire in this book as well. Edward Rochester, ugly as sin, but powerful and dominant and unbelievably attractive in spite of his looks. A love that grows and strengthens on the basis of mutual sympathy, respect and a meeting of the minds, that a lot of our authors would do well to learn from. Jane Eyre, who does not think that her great love excuses acts of selfishness and immorality. Despite being drawn as a somewhat submissive personality, Jane manages to hold her own with quiet fortitude, never loudly asserting her intelligence or talent, but nonetheless displaying a strength of character that would put the Bellas and Noras of out time to shame.

Jane Eyre would never, as I have said above, be a bestseller if it had been written in our times. And that is a loss we must take upon ourselves. That we have put such prime value on lust and looks and power that we have forgotten to be real in our writing. There is a reason why millions of people the world over remember and revere a book written a hundred and fifty-odd years ago while the bestsellers of our times slip quickly and quietly from our memories. Jane Eyre is more than just a beautiful book about a love story that transcends all boundaries; it is a testament to the power of pure emotion, that can be felt through the ages and across all barriers of time and culture.
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Reading Progress

December 21, 2010 – Shelved
February 5, 2011 – Started Reading
February 5, 2011 –
0.0% "I know every word of this book by heart, but I still can't stop re-reading it!"
February 5, 2011 – Shelved as: books-i-loved
February 5, 2011 – Shelved as: re-reading-times-1-million
February 6, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 77 (77 new)

Tatiana I think I adore this movie adaptation of Jane Eyre as much as the book itself. Have you seen it?

Miss Clark An excellent review - thanks!

message 3: by Vinaya (last edited Feb 06, 2011 12:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vinaya @Miss Clark: Thank you, I aim to please! :)

@ Tatiana: No, I haven't, I'm always scared of movie adaptations of books I love. But Toby Stephens is hawt, and he's been in a Bollywood movie, where he was truly awesome, so I might watch it just for him! But after the disaster that was Kiera Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, I've tried to stay away from movie adaptations! I'll give this one a shot, and then maybe you'll go from Tatiana, Book Goddess to Tatiana, Movie goddess as well! :)

message 4: by Tatiana (last edited Feb 06, 2011 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tatiana Oh no, I loved P&P with Kiera! Mr. Darcy in that movie makes my mouth water every time I get a glimpse of him! So maybe watching my suggestion is not such a great idea?

Vinaya I hate Kiera on principle, I just think she has only one expression that she uses for all her movies. Also she should never be allowed to dress herself. Matthew Macfadyen is all kinds of hot, I agree! :) I will give Jane Eyre a shot anyhow, and if I hate it, I'll just make sure not to watch any more movie adaptations! No harm, no foul. :)

message 6: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie Great review! This made me feel all warm inside to read :)

Brillare Hear hear!

message 8: by joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* have you tried anne bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall? i'd say there's a good chance you'd really love it. :)

Vinaya I do, I do! I think in terms of originality and innovation, Tenant of Wildfell Hall is way more progressive than Jane Eyre, it's just that Jane has a special place in my heart! Objectively speaking, though, I'd rate Tenant higher!

message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 21, 2011 01:06PM) (new)

Ok, this review was so pretty now I want to read it! LOL! I figure if I love Wuthering Heights I should respect this one just as much right?

Erica (storybookend) Fantasic review! Jane Eyre is purely brilliant, my favorite book ever :)

message 12: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna What you should really watch is the most recent film adaption- just came out this year. It's starring two of my favorite actors, and I did love it. It was gorgeous. The ending pissed me off a bit, but I can live with it.

Megan Haynes but jane eyre is so good 3 ahh, well.

message 14: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie This is such a gorgeous review :)

Lucia Lazorova Hello, beautiful review:)

message 16: by Lola (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lola This made me teary eyed. Wonderful review :)

message 17: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg Kensington Very true, but there is something lost in modern novels. Descriptive writing is what makes classics reread over 100 years later.

message 18: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne True! Same thoughts here.

Monkique Great review!!!

Donna Ho Shing It's crazy, and I guess it just shows my LOVE for "Jane Eyre" but this review literally brought me to tears. I can completely relate to your illustration about your childhood doll and how Jane Eyre is the same to you now in your adulthood, this is the part that moved me most. I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Jane, I guess not. Jane Eyre is one for the ages and you are on point in saying it would not be a best seller today, such a pity. Thank God Charlotte Brontë was born in the 1800s then.

Rumaisa Shaikh A heart touching review.

Alexia Donnelly This review is amazing!! no doubt that you have read this book more than once.

Bernadette I agree with many of the comments and yes, Vinaya - great review. If the comments are so deep and thoughtful about Jane Eyre, I would live to hear your thoughts on Tess of the D'urbervilles... Possible I missed the discussion!

Bailey Wonderful review. I'm two thirds of my way through Jane Eyre myself and love reading what you thought of it! Also, I'm really happy you liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. That book is criminally under-read.

message 25: by Shalene (new) - added it

Shalene Beautiful review, I agree wholeheartedly!!!

JM C. i bought this book a few minutes ago and i was looking for reviews to know if i made the right decision. your review not only made me feel happy that i did buy it, but it also made feel like I'm holding a very precious book in my hand right now. thank you.

message 27: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Wonderful review. You gave me things to think about that hadn't really dawned on me. I will be re-reading.

Cecily This is a refreshing angle on a classic.

I hope you're not strictly correct, though. Literary Fiction (a label I dislike) is a thing, and I'm sure there are some that tick many of your first five points.

message 29: by 7jane (new)

7jane Reason #2 was particularly the point why I love the Brontes (Charlotte being my favorite - so far - and Anne close behind; haven't yet read Emily enough to tell what's her place *lol*)

message 30: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Daly I've just finished Jane Eyre and thoroughly loved it, even all the descriptive passages and religious overtones. JE is romantic and intense, whereas Wuthering H is darker (a bit gothic), poetic and supremely powerful. love both. Will try Wildfell Hall next, you've all put me in the mood.

message 31: by Jan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jan Hahahaha, "NO SCHMEXING" made me laugh. Your observations are spot-on though!

message 32: by Jan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jan Hahahaha, "NO SCHMEXING" made me laugh. Your observations are spot-on though!

Roxanne Oh my. I love your review. I'm reading it for the first time, and I find it really enjoyable. I have no doubts I'll end up loving this book. (Although I'm having a few difficulties with the words as I was used to contemporary novels.)

message 34: by Mia (new) - added it

Mia Bolding Seriously, can I be your friend!

message 35: by Mina (new)

Mina Snowfall Oh! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for a mouthwatering review. Finally, someone who loves Jane for the same reasons as myself

Rhonda Bridges Reading it now for the first time - at age 50. Glad I didn't attempt it in my teens - I don't know that I would have appreciated it. But I am thoroughly enjoying it - even tho I wish I could take that ten year old little girl into our home and give her the love and care she needs. I just want to pinch Mrs. Reed's head off!

MaddyLeeReads Even though my mind has wandered around while reading Jane Eyre, I always try to return to the book with a clear mind and when I have that clear mindset the book is so lovely! I'm so glad I had purchased it last month!

MaddyLeeReads And yes, your review is spot on!

Anneta K. I'm glad there are so many people who feel the same way as me about Jane Eyre.It has been my favourite book ever since i remember myself and i always come back to it,eventually.It never tires me and it always feels like reading it for the first time and what can i say about mr Rochester?He is so mysterious,moody,passionate and loving that i fell for him too.He is my favourite fictional hero.Everyone goes mad about mr Darcy,give me a break!!!He is not in the least as passionate as mr Rochester!!!!

Bella Jean The best review of Jane Eyre I've read so far. It was one of the first classics I read, and a huge part of my childhood.

Lynda Beautifully written.

message 42: by Patricia (new) - added it

Patricia Sumoza What means SCHMEXING?

message 43: by Trix (new) - rated it 5 stars

Trix Wilkins Absolutely love the way you describe Jane, and agree completely! "Manages to hold her own with quiet fortitude, never loudly asserting her intelligence or talent, but nonetheless displaying a strength of character..."

message 44: by Ally (new)

Ally Thank you! I am so tired of modern writers writing about lust and calling it love. There are few things in the world that are more different than love and lust.

message 45: by Thirikwa (new)

Thirikwa Nyingi Read the book in April2013 during school holidays. Was dead broke then so I could not travel a lot to see my friends.I could only stay indoors. I decided to pass time by reading Jane Eyre which had been lying around in the house for years. That book left me a changed man-it was my book of the year!

message 46: by Abbi (new)

Abbi Mikell Your review was just so very beautiful. I'll be reading Jane Eyre sraight away...yes, you tipped me over the edge :)

message 47: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria Smith I read this book every year since I first read it when I was ten and I take away something completely different each and every time. I see it in a new light with a new perspective depending on what stage I am in life. This was the most beautiful review!

Pilar E. Vasquez xhjjllööööägoügddjlöüüvööl xxköüb

message 49: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Yes!!!

Erika Sledge Excellent review. If you haven't, you must read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurice.

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