Melissa Delport's Reviews > Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
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it was amazing
bookshelves: the-classics
Read 2 times. Last read August 28, 2019 to October 15, 2019.

** spoiler alert ** Oct 2019: Upping my star rating from 4 to 5 stars, because while I thoroughly enjoyed this when I first read it in my late teens, I utterly ADORED it now that I'm.. ahem... well, a bit older. Re-reading after such a long time was like a breath of fresh air. I'd forgotten quite a few characters and major plot points (Grace Poole, for example, and St John's proposal)

This time around I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Thandie Newton. Newton's narration is far from flawless, but it is real and it is beautiful. Her voice is like honey, and she brings every single character to life. At times, I was convinced it couldn't be her, such was her vocal versatility. This is definitely one of my top ten favourite narrations of all time. It's turned an old favourite into a new favourite, and made me fall in love with Jane Eyre all over again.

During this re-read, I had far more appreciation for the period that JE is set in, and the struggles and restrictions imposed upon women in that time. To a modern day reader who holds heroines to the benchmark set by the likes of Katniss Everdeen, Jane may appear to be a perfect, unflawed heroine. But don't let the subtlety of her independence and defiant nature fool you. When you consider that this was published in 1847... well, let's just say Jane had plenty of spunk. Her refusal of St John's proposal, her decision (foolish though it may have been) to flee Thornfield when she discovered the truth about Bertha, and even her youthful rebellion against her aunt was delightful.

The dynamic between Jane and Mr Rochester (I can't think of him as "Edward") is fantastic. I can't help but think that Charlotte Bronte must have caused quite a stir in her day - all that feverish kissing in the hall, and the sexy dialogue:

"Come to me. Come to me entirely now. Make my happiness." ~ Mr Rochester.
"I mean shortly to claim you." ~ Also Mr R.

Scandalous, right? Especially in hindsight, and with the double entendre we can apply now ;)

I actually really like Mr. Rochester. I know a lot of people don't, and I completely understand why, but I found him dead sexy. Sure, he lied. And he was controlling and manipulative. And yeah, that one time he dressed up as a an old woman was WEIRD AF, but again I say: 1847!! Men were all of these things (barring the cross-dressing bit) Bronte intended him to be the hero, and so he shall be. Despite not being very handsome, nor very nice, I grew to love him for how I experienced him through Jane's eyes, and her feelings toward him. He is the original dark and brooding hero archetype.

All in all, this remains one of my favourite classics and is WELL worth the listen.
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Reading Progress

April 3, 2013 – Shelved
January 15, 2016 – Shelved as: the-classics
August 28, 2019 – Started Reading
August 28, 2019 – Started Reading
August 28, 2019 –
page 12
"TSBC read along... let's do this!"
September 2, 2019 –
page 62
September 3, 2019 –
page 93
September 20, 2019 –
30.0%
September 30, 2019 –
35.0%
October 1, 2019 –
40.0%
October 3, 2019 –
50.0%
October 7, 2019 –
60.0%
October 8, 2019 –
70.0% "You should've kept your sweet little behind in the house, Jane!"
October 9, 2019 –
75.0% "I miss Mr Rochester already.."
October 14, 2019 –
80.0%
October 15, 2019 – Finished Reading
October 15, 2019 – Finished Reading

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