Celeste's Reviews > Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
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it was amazing
bookshelves: classics-i-ve-read, favorites, best-books-i-ve-ever-read
Read 3 times. Last read June 1, 2019 to July 2, 2019.

Jane Eyre was the inaugural selection of the newly formed Novel Notions Classics Club. The ladies of the site: TS, Emma, Haïfa, and myself; have found that embarking on more difficult works as a group enhances our enjoyment of the chosen novel tremendously. Chatting with these women daily as we made our way through this book was such a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to do it again!
“If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”

My review is a conglomeration of past experiences and current thoughts regarding this book. Instead of rewriting a more detailed review, I have decided to slightly modify the last review I wrote for Jane Eyre, as my feelings haven’t really changed; they’ve merely strengthened.
“I care for myself.  The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

This is my third time reading Jane Eyre, and it’s a book that just seems to get better and better every time I pick it up. There are quite a few classics that I love, but this novel is among my very favorites, tied with Frankenstein for the top spot. Classics are vastly different from modern fiction, and have to be read differently. Now that I understand this fact, reading classics has become much more fulfilling for me. This time around, I was able to buddy read this with three lovely ladies whose opinions were a delight to discuss.
“You are original,” said he, “and not timid.  There is something brave in your spirit, as well as penetrating in your eye.”

First of all, the writing is absolutely gorgeous. Charlotte Brontë penned one of the most beautiful novels I’ve ever read. Every word she wrote had purpose and power. In this book we have the story of an orphan girl’s journey from surviving to thriving. Life has dealt her a hard hand, but she handles herself with surprising aplomb and grace through even the hardest situations. Jane is different, and marches to the beat of her own drum. So much so, in fact, that many critics refused to believe a woman had written the book when it was first published. There are times when Jane bends over backwards to try to please those in her life because she is so desperate for the love and family that she never had, but she always has a line that she won’t cross. When pushed too far, Jane always firmly stands her ground and refuses to lose her identity to those who wish to mold her into their ideals.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.”

That’s one of the most powerful lines I’ve ever read.
Jane always remembers her free will and her freedom when faced with those who wish to take those inalienable rights from her, and she always defends those rights. Even in the face of losing that which she yearns for most in the world, she will not be caged or forced to compromise her principles.
We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.

Another thing I really loved about this book was that Brontë’s faith that shone brightly from the pages. There was much theology and scripture and soul searching in this book. But what I loved most was the fact that it never felt forced or trite. Faith was as much a part of Brontë’s time as breathing, and is portrayed just as naturally. It is the core of Jane and was exquisitely rendered, because it was also the core of Charlotte. I love this quote from the the foreword:
Conventionality is not morality.  Self-righteousness is not religion.  To attack the first is not to assail the last.  To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.

And, of course, there’s the romance that this book is most known for. It’s beautiful, but it’s not what stands out to me. While it might be the most famous aspect of the novel, it is not the central theme. In my opinion, Jane Eyre is the story of a girl overcoming hardships and finding herself, and always protecting that identity. Without a doubt, this is in my top five favorite classics. And without a doubt, it is a book made for revisiting.
“…if the whole human race, ourselves excepted, were swept away, and we two stood alone on the earth, I would leave you in the old world, and betake myself to the new.”
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 28, 2012 – Shelved
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: classics-i-ve-read
May 18, 2017 – Started Reading
May 18, 2017 –
25.0% "Rereading one of my favorite classics!"
May 26, 2017 –
53.0% ""I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.""
May 27, 2017 –
69.0% "*cries all the tears*

May 28, 2017 –
72.0% ""We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.""
May 30, 2017 –
page 506
99.8% "I loved this more the second time around. Review coming soon!"
May 31, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 1, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: best-books-i-ve-ever-read
June 1, 2019 – Started Reading
July 2, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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Haïfa I love the way you understood and interpreted the book, love !
I need a new reread to see if it feels different with my adult eyes ! ^^

Celeste Thank you, dear!! I really enjoyed digging into it. I could've written a thesis on it, I'm pretty sure. 😜

Melika Hick Great review, m'dear! I shared it on Twitter, too! :D

Laura Nice review. I completely agree with your interpretation, too!

Celeste Aw, that's so sweet, Melika! Thank you!

And thanks, Laura!!

message 6: by Petrik (new)

Petrik Great review my dear! Glad to see another book goes well for you!! 😊

Celeste Thank you, my darling! 😉

Melika Hick Celeste wrote: "Aw, that's so sweet, Melika! Thank you!

And thanks, Laura!!"

You're welcome!!! :D

message 9: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren B. Great review - this one's on my to read list!

Celeste Thanks Lauren! I hope you enjoy it!

message 11: by ☽Luna☾ (new)

☽Luna☾ Fantastic review celeste 😘😘

Celeste Thank you, Sarah my love! 😘😘

Kat, lover of bears... I am so glad you liked it. It is one of my favorite stories of endurance and overcoming.

Celeste It’s one of my top five favorite classics, Kat. I’m very much enjoying my reread. It’s a gorgeous book!!

Celeste It’s one of my top five favorite classics, Kat. I’m very much enjoying my reread. It’s a gorgeous book!!

Haïfa What a wonderful new review love!
I had an amazing time reading this book, reflecting on its themes and reuniting with its vivid, realistic and endearing (not all of them of course, but the main ones were) characters!

Can't wait for our next classic BR!

Celeste Thanks, love! I can’t want for our next classic, either. Rebecca, here we come!

message 18: by Bookish Ally (new) - added it

Bookish Ally I really love this insightful and beautiful review! Especially your points about Bronte’s faith, how natural it was! Thank you.

Celeste Thank you so much, Ally!

message 20: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Love your beautiful review, darling!
What a fantastic start to our NN Classics Club. And the future looks so promising. 😘

Celeste Thank you, my love!! It was such a pleasure to share this experience with y’all. 🥰

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