Jane Eyre’s story begins at Gateshead, where the orphan lives with her aunt and cousins. She is by no means seen as family, and when she uses her built up hate of her treatment to shame her unloving caregiver, she is sent to Lowood School. This school, an charitable institution for orphans like Jane, isn’t the nicest. With terrible food rations and strict teachers, Jane despairs. But after puzzling over the way things work, she begins a friendship with Helen Burns and a kind teacher, and things change. In a terrible storm of sickness, he loses her closest friend, but quality of life at Lowood improves and she strives on.
As Jane grows older, she is employed as a teacher in Lowood – but after two years in teaching, she feels the need to explore another place in the world. Accepting a position as a governess in Thornfield Hall, she leaves Lowood and all else she knows, meeting the sweet child Adelè and the quirky Mr Rochester. As fate looks upon Jane with an interesting plan in mind, you’re taken along with Jane on her journey of love, strength, courage and faith.
My favourite part of this story is the happenings at and after Thornfield hall. This book actually contains some plot twists and mysteries that I completely did not expect from a book of this genre, and it really intrigued me. Personally, I thought the beginning of the book wasn’t particularly enrapturing, but when you get past that it’s quite an interesting story.
Another thing I enjoy about this story was discovering the natures of each character. Because Jane is the protagonist and narrator of the story, it’s like actually getting to know someone in person. You get the same the first, second and so on impressions from Jane’s encounters with them, and you can discover yourself how they act. As Jane grows older it’s also interesting to see what kind of a person she turns out to be herself.
In this book, Jane often brings out another side in people, a side that the people themselves might not realise they have. Her upfront yet well-mannered nature and responses almost seem to startle people into another personality. The way she interacts with others is quite a unique and personal quality of hers.
I thought this was a fine read, but the genre may put off a lot of readers. You do have to stick with it to get the best out of it, and for some it might not be worth it. Good if you'd like a challenge!
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