For our first book review, I decided to go with an old classic, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. While I don’t typically like mopey, depressing stories about growing through adversity like this one (Tess of the D’ubervilles comes to mind as a particularly painful example), Jane Eyre was totally worth the read. Also, Mr. Rochester is super dreamy, and that can’t hurt.
In the beginning of the novel, we’re introduced to Jane as a young girl, who lives with her uncle’s family. Her uncle’s dying wish is for young Jane to be raised by his wife and treated as one of her own children. A nice idea maybe, but his wife and children mistreat her on a regular basis. In the next stage of her life, Jane attends a school where she is determined to turn things around for herself. Amidst her struggle for identity, self-empowerment, and freedom, she tells us about a range of deeper social issues. We come to adore Jane and root for her to find happiness and freedom from the shackles of society.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will”
– Jane Eyre
When we finally meet our dark-and-mysterious love interest, things seem like they might finally be improving for our heroine. Hopefully, her desire to be a strong, independent woman doesn’t get in the way of her own happiness. Nevertheless, we’re rooting for her and we all love her, even with her somewhat zany opinions.
My absolute favourite aspect of this book was Jane’s quest for freedom despite all of the people in her life that seemed to be saying that she was asking for the impossible. She kept fighting for what she knew she deserved until she got it. Jane struck me as a feminist and a warrior, and I loved every minute of it. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you’re a huge fan of classic books, sappy feel-good romance, or female empowerment, this book is definitely for you. If you don’t like any of those things, you should probably read it anyway just because it’s awesome.