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on July 16, 2016
I have just started this book. It is very slow going at first but starts to get much more interesting fairly soon---about the 3rd. chapter. So far the mood is rather dark but part of that is the location and characters and weather in the beginning. It is not dark like being evil, but just the mood---dark and suspenseful. The dialogue of Joseph is, for me and others I've talked to, impossible to decipher the way it is written. I have heard that there is a version where his dialogue is made more readable. Joseph is a pretty disagreeable character who does not have a lot to say so I just imagine what he probably would have said in each instance. Enjoy!
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on September 4, 2017
This is a story of human cruelty, restoration, self determination, faith, and finally joy in love. I liked the way Jane starts as a shy and docile unwanted child but yet somewhat entitled. She meets Helen who suffers harsh punishments in an apologetic fashion due mostly to her faith. The story has sad moments but also triumphant ones and some even supernatural. God as the Almighty is constantly present in this story. Excellent!
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on September 25, 2015
Jane Eyre is a classic! Jane was an abused child, said to be physically “plain.” Her unfortunate circumstances was due to being orphaned and poor; which was a grievous misfortune in that age. Given her station, it is inevitable that unkindness and mistreatment will be her companions for a good deal of her life, from her aunt Reed of Gateshead to residing at Lowood under the cruel hand of Mr. Brocklehurst. Was there no pity, compassion, or love to be found in any residence she was to occupy? Eventually, love finds Jane—under the most extraordinary circumstances--when she secures employment as a nanny over Adele at the estate of Thornfield Hall. The master of the estate is the wealthy, eccentric Mr. Rochester. Others employed at the estate, Mrs. Fairfax and the mysterious Grace Poole have their own stories as to why they reside at Thornfield Hall. Some dark secrets from Mr. Rochester’s past—his marriage to an insane woman, his alleged engagement to another woman, Miss Ingram—will be Jane’s greatest challenge. Should Jane continue to love a man that seems so undeserving of her love?
I suggest you have plenty of tissues on hand, as this story will tear at your heart.
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on May 14, 2017
This old classic is a classic for a reason. IF I read it in high school I don't remember it. So I enjoyed a delightful read over several days, savouring the descriptions, enjoying the character development as well as the plot. At first I thought it was a children's book, but after reading it, I think the children of today would have a hard time understanding many of the beautiful uses of the English language that Charlotte Bronte perfected.
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on January 13, 2013
"Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre" may be so well-known that a review of the stories would be coals to Newcastle, owls to Athens. Thus my comments focus on THIS edition of these two justly loved classics.

Why pay what can be for many of us a lot of money for a book available in paperback, one might ask?

Because a truly beautifully produced book is a thing of joy, forever. It is an enduringly enriching experience to hold a book where the illustrator and the writer are so attuned that one deepens and enhances the work of the other. Remember in "The Wizard of Oz" going from the black and white of Kansas to the color of Oz? Or hearing the Beatles live instead of on Ed Sullivan? That's what a superb illustrator can do.

Because a truly beautifully produced book, with heavy quality paper, strong boards and spine, carefully put together to last is like going into a great museum and being permitted to hold an original, something made with a passion of caring and creation. Such quality honors a great text, reminding us that what is written is not ephemeral but if great---as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are great---can and should be a legacy from generation to generation.

This edition is the best I have seen. It IS a truly beautiful book with magnificent illustrations by Fritz Eichelberger like that of Heathcliffe against a tree with branches twisted by winds whose tumult echoes his soul---unforgettable, haunting. Whether as a gift for yourself or a gift to another, if you possibly can, BUY this edition! Worth every penny and more. As the very old sayng goes,

If of all things you are bereft save one, sell it.
One half for bread and with the dole, buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

This edition will feed your soul.
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on February 21, 2013
I read this book in high school because 'I had to', it was required reading. I hated it. But when I got older, and could read at my own pace and place, the book is one of the best mysteries ever written. I can't imagine going to a horrible school like Lowood, but perhaps that was preferable to living with her Aunt Reed, a most disagreeable person even unto her death. I cried when she and Mr. Rochester could not get married because of the 'house secret'. She seemed to have such a hard life anyway, that was icing on the cake, or de-icing if you will. The book flowed smoothly and I even managed to get past the 'true English'. I've always had trouble reading English writers, but Charlotte Bronte is an exceptional writer. I like when she addresses her audience, "Reader, you would not believe this but...", etc. As I said it's a great mystery, and autobiography, but I don't want to say more to spoil the story! Chance it to say, if you've only read the book because, 'you had to', read it again in a new light. I'm taking all of the books I read in my English classes that were 'necessary to read', and giving them a second go-round. This one was definitely worth it!
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on December 23, 2014
When I first read this great novel, I was about 17, and it was part of a high school English Literature assignment. The story of Jane, a poor orphan at the mercy of her cruel aunt and cousins -- especially John Reed -- immediately captivated me. I got totally immersed in the novel, and I couldn't stop thinking about it even after I had finished it.

Little Jane Eyre eventually became an accomplished teacher, securing a position as governess to the protege of a very wealthy man -- Edward Fairfax Rochester. As the events unfolded, I felt myself being swept up in them, right along with Jane. When she first met Mr. Rochester, and subsequent pages revealed more about him, I fell in love with him just as hard as Jane eventually did.

Their love story is a beautiful one, especially because they are so perfectly matched, in spite of their disparate social stations. Rochester is a man of potent masculine energy, although that energy can be overly dominating at times. Jane, however, is not intimidated by this, as she has quite a strong will of her own. The two of them are also intellectually sharp, and equally passionate. This is quite evident at two points in the novel: in Jane's vehemently emotional declaration to Rochester in the orchard of Thornfield Hall, and in Rochester's pained request that Jane not leave him, precisely as she is about to.

My adolescent mind and heart thrilled to all this emotion, all this romantic passion laced with mystery and desperate longing.... Everything about the story totally mesmerized me. This was my first Gothic novel, and I was inevitably pulled in by the air of secrecy and gloom pervading Thornfield Hall.... As the mystery deepened, I felt my attraction to Mr. Rochester grow; I perceived he carried a terrible burden of some type, and, like Jane, I wished to alleviate his emotional pain...

Having just read this novel for the second time, I have a more comprehensive view of it. I now see, more clearly than ever, just how much this novel centers around Jane herself. Most of it is about her growth as a person, her coming into her own, mature power. It's also about her great love for Mr. Rochester, however. In fact, there's a fascinating tension between the two themes of Jane finding her true self, and the pull of a love so wonderful, so all-encompassing, that it almost reaches religious fervor.

Ironically, it is Rochester himself who is actually the catalyst for Jane's inner awakening. He is the one who unintentionally propels her into a quest for her true self. And what is this true self? It is her own Christian conscience, coupled with a sense of her own value as an independent person.

In rejecting Rochester's unconventional proposal, Jane is not only being true to her ideals, but to herself as an autonomous being. The two things go together. As a Christian, she cannot possibly betray her firm moral standards; as a feminist, which she undoubtedly is, she cannot possibly betray her own independence and autonomy in becoming 'a kept woman'.

This is definitely a very complex novel, and thus, should be re-read many times, for each new reading leads to new revelations. This time around, I was surprised to find Rochester to be a much darker character than I had thought him to be during my first reading. I still loved him, but now I saw, more clearly, that his love for Jane was not a totally pure one. In fact, it struck me as bordering on obsession, and yet, it was not altogether selfish, either. After all, he never meant to hurt her; he merely wanted to give her everything her heart desired, to treat her as he felt she deserved to be treated -- as "a peeress of the realm". In the process, he also hoped she would redeem him from his previously depraved life.

Jane was quite right to resist him, not only because of his objectification of her, but also because each person has to find him/herself through an inner quest, and such a quest necessarily involves a higher power. One cannot expect to be 'saved' by another person. For Brontë, only the Christian God can do that. Jane herself repeatedly tells Mr. Rochester to turn to God for solace and comfort.

In spite of my new perspective on Rochester, I was just as caught up in all this as I was during my first reading. I wanted them to end up together just as badly, in spite of seeing the underlying deception, the horrible secret of Thornfield Hall. This is due to the author's great literary skill in crafting these immortal characters. They leap off the page, entering our imaginations with the forcefulness of real people.

The secondary characters are vividly drawn, as well, from the despotically cruel Mrs. Reed and her spoiled, equally cruel children, to the hypocritically self-righteous Mr. Brocklehurst, the gentle, saintly Helen Burns, the sprightly French girl, Adele, the cold, detached, stern St. John Rivers, and his sweet sisters, Diana and Mary. Then there are Bessie, the servant who most sympathized with little Jane, Mrs. Fairfax, the very sweet Miss Temple, and the enigmatic Grace Poole. All are equally memorable in the reader's mind, and all contribute richly to the plot.

There's symbolism everywhere, as well, from the curtains and drapes at Gateshead Hall, with their hints of sanctuary and even entombment, to the old chestnut tree, which presages the lovers' separation, to Jane's eerily predictive nightmares... The Romantic movement was obviously a huge influence on the author, as even the weather in the novel, as well as the vegetation -- or lack thereof -- are bearers of hidden meanings and portents.

The novel has been criticized for certain coincidental events in the plot, but I would say that, in its overall structure, Jane Eyre is very well conceived and carried out. It is masterfully written, in prose that soars and sweeps through field and moor, enchanting the reader with its sonorous cadences. Having said that, I know I need to listen to one of the several audio versions, for this is a novel meant to be read aloud. I would especially like to listen to Mr. Rochester's initial conversations with Jane; they show the reader his rapier wit and keen intelligence, as well as his magnetic personality. Jane's responses, too, tell us much about her personality, as she skillfully spars with him, giving no quarter.

Along with its predominant theme of the pull of love vs. the search for one's true self is the equally important theme of class prejudice. I was delighted to see that Rochester did not approve of this particular vice; he never for a moment considered Jane as being 'beneath' his station, something which a lesser man might have. In contrast to those of his immediate social circle, he had nothing but admiration for Jane. He plainly saw the very sharp contrast between Jane and Blanche Ingram, the solid integrity of the one, and the social superficiality of the other. That Blanche belonged to 'the upper class' meant nothing to him; he rightly saw Jane as much superior.

These gripping, fundamental themes give this novel its enduring power and stature in the minds of its readers, thus making the reading of it a totally unforgettable experience! Thus, we have many, many editions of it in the English language alone, as well as many more in other languages.

In spite of the bittersweet ending -- in my opinion, Brontë was a bit overzealous in achieving Rochester's eventual redemption -- I am happy that, after the storm had passed, she resolved everything to my romantic heart's content! "Jane Eyre" has always been and will always be my favorite classic of all time, and I know there will be more re-readings for me in the future!
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on March 2, 2012
I'd give the book itself 4 or 5 stars, the 3 star rating is because this Kindle version is a little flawed.

'Jane' is sometimes spelled 'Janet' which is a little annoying, but not that bad.

One thing I'm unsure of is whether or not this version is incomplete on place names... I kept seeing -shire and things like that, but sometimes the name of the town was complete. Since this is the only version of Jane Eyre I've ever read, I don't know if that's an error or if Bronte intended it that way. ???

The book itself I'm glad to have read. It is a good story. I think some of the negative reviews by readers who didn't like it are influenced by the fact this book was written over 150 years ago. Writing styles have changed drastically, as have social norms. I got used to Bronte's way of speaking and it flowed better after that. Glad Kindle has the built in dictionary too. There are just a few passages of dialogue in French that you might want to translate, there are plenty of free translators online that would probably do well enough. I personally think it's possible to pass over them without knowing their meaning; they aren't crucial to the story. As far as the social themes, some of Jane's dilemmas wouldn't have been dilemmas in today's society but I suppose they were huge issues in the time period of the story so you have to think of them that way and think about how someone dealing with her set of circumstances then would handle it, not how you or someone in today's society would.

Bronte was quite the author. Very descriptive, great use of analogy, etc. And in this day and age it's nothing for a female as a child or a woman to stand up for herself, speak her mind, and wish to be an equal, but I kept reminding myself this book was written in England in the mid 1800s... it must have been revolutionary at the time. Jane would be considered somewhat feisty by today's standards.
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on April 29, 2014
Jane Eyre,
So, I'm trying to figure out how to write a positive review without just listing all of the positive adjectives in the English language.
It is an amazing story. It has everything that an excellent story must have. There is suspense, drama, thrills and chills... and romance, but not in a bad way (btw I'm a guy, and I don't go for romance related literature on purpose :) ). This book had chapters that were amazingly exciting, but in a way that wasn't "telegraphed", many surprises. And when I finally finished reading it, I concluded that every person should read it, but especially those persons that are about to get married.
More regarding the story, it's in first person, and it's supposed to be a diary, so don't get annoyed by, "Dear reader..." parts because it's not that much on a nose, unlike Hobbit that threw me off (mostly the riddle part, but whatever).
Another important note, the story has a lot of positive views and thoughts from the mind of its protagonist regarding relationship between a Man and a Woman, it was unusual at the time when it was published because it was protesting that time's view on women and what their place in the society/family/work, etc was as oppose to what it should be and mostly is these days.
Throughout the story Jane Eyre is in serious pursuit of equality and independence, and she demonstrates an amazing inner strength and she is willing to go through some serious stuff as long as she keeps her principles intact (sadly people these days, both men and women, are easily giving up on who they are and their principles for a temporary relief).
Regarding the style, it's easy to speed read, what else can I say, it's expertly written.
Also, just a suggestion, after you are done reading it, take a day or so for all of it to sink in, and then check out wikipedia for some interesting breakdown.
All in all, it was quite an adventure reading it, regardless of your gender and gender equality views, just read it and you'll understand a thing or two that was possibly escaping you all this time(or it will remind you if you forgot or got lost due the views of media and all that).
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2013
I'm not really one for romance novels, at least not in the typical sense. I often try and avoid them. I also find period pieces, while beautiful on the big screen, somewhat daunting to actually read. Still, there was something about the story of `Jane Eyre' that I really connected to and longed to read. I loved the 2011 film version and it was around that time that many of my friends were commenting on the novel and the fact that I had to read it. So, I picked it up and started to dig in and I found that almost immediately I was infatuated with every word that Charlotte Bronte was penning. I found in `Jane Eyre' a magnificently complete love story that felt genuine, whole and uniformly perfect.

I love this book.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Jane is an orphaned girl who lived for a spell with her Uncle and wicked Aunt (wicked is less garish sense and more self-centered portrayal) before being shipped off to a boarding school after her Uncle dies and her Aunt gives up on her. The boarding school is harsh and molds her into a meek young woman who eventually leaves to serve as governess for young Adele, the ward to the elder, harsh and somewhat scary Mr. Rochester. As Jane serves to her best ability, she finds herself drawn to Mr. Rochester despite his prickly demeanor, and soon he begins to reciprocate her obvious feelings.

But falling in love is never that easy.

The secret exposed and the beautifully tragic resolve is handled marvelously by Bronte, who develops such truth in her depiction of love and adoration and respect and just an authenticated portrait of true love at its most engaged. I just adore every aspect of this richly told story. Some books are classics for a reason, and this one is certainly deserving of that title.
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