Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

4 January, 2017 Reviews 21 comments

Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Narrator: Thandie Newton
Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
Series: Standalone
Published by Audible Studios on April 17th 2016
Genres: Adult, Classics, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

I often think of classics as “required reading,” usually accompanied by a barely suppressed groan. Because, surely, they can’t actually be any good. I’m not sure why I’ve always associated well-known and well-loved classics as such, but I suppose it must be the expectation to love it just as much as the world. It’s silly, I know. A person can’t be expected to love all books, classic status or not, but still, I wondered if I would enjoy it.

Jane Eyre is one of those novels that proves me completely wrong and I’m glad of it. It is not beloved simply due to its age or progressiveness or pretentious nature, but because at its heart it’s a damn good book. Lyrical, emotional, and captivating, Brontë makes you beg and plead sweet, emotional reprieve. You hunger for it, but she holds on to it ever so slightly — not to the point of frustration, but instead leaves a trail of bread crumbs to keep you from starving. And the best part is that you delight in every moment. Brontë made my emotions work for that happily ever after with the irresistible OTP: Jane and Mr. Rochester.

At the same time, while I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic aspect, I was also equally intrigued with Jane Eyre’s life in general. While at times she lived under horrible circumstances, her resilience was nothing short of admirable. She never let her hardships define her as a person or let it compromise her morals even when she was at her lowest. In the end, her luck does turn around and she finds happiness, which at times I felt was way overdue.

Thandie Newton’s narration was even better than I expected. Her voice brought the novel to life and at times, I could have sworn several different people narrated instead of just her. It was very apparent that she had a healthy amount of respect for the novel, and her reading, imparted the same into me. It felt like her voice said, “These words are amazing, this prose is magic, this story enchanting. I’m thrilled to be reading them to you. Let’s bask in in Brontë’s brilliance together.”  Who could say no to that? I was very impressed and believe listening to this version was the best decision for me. I never was once bored because Newton demanded all my attention.

This is the first time that I’ve read Jane Eyre and I’m glad I did at this point in my life where I’m fully able to appreciate the various themes conveyed. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have understood certain things, but I’m sure there are lots of books where we come away thinking, “Wow, this was exactly what I needed right now.” It’s even more surprising and intriguing that it’s a novel written over 100 years ago that appeals to me even now. Ah, the joys and magic of literature!

All the things that I love in a good book was here and more: masterful character development, interesting plot, and OMG, the witty dialogue. I could have read an entire book composed of Jane and Mr. Rochester’s banter alone!

This book brought me many happy sighs and I’m thrilled to have found a new all-time favorite in a classic tale. Definitely an oldie, but goodie for sure.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

21 Responses to “Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë”

  1. Kate Copeseeley

    YAYAYAYAYAY! So glad you liked it! You are making me want to try the audio version. 🙂 Maybe I’ll make it one of my 2017 audiobook re-reads. (Gonna start Ready Player One here in a bit.)

  2. Paige Turner

    For some reason, as hard as I tried I just could not get into Jane Eyre, but a lot of the people I know rant and rave about it. I’ve read Little Women, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten in those types of classics. I’m glad you enjoyed it though, maybe I should try the audiobook version!
    Paige Turner recently posted…Book Blitz: Shadow Fall by Audrey GreyMy Profile

  3. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    I’m glad you loved it!! Most of the classics I’ve read have been in school but I enjoyed a lot of them. It definitely depends 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve read Jane Eyre- your enthusiasm makes me want to read it again! Or listen, I love Thandie Newton and it sounds like the narration was excellent! Any other classics on your list to read? 🙂

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