Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
On impulse I decided to re-read this classic novel which I originally read as a teenager. A similar impulse to read Sense and Sensibility a couple of years ago was a disappointing experience, but this time I really did enjoy Jane Eyre … from which I had forgotten all but the basic plot. Jane Eyre is a great classic which has now been made into a movie!
The book was ahead of its time in some ways. Charlotte Bronte included some characters which were unusual (for their time), such as the physically unattractive hero, Mr Rochester, and they have become the forerunner of character types used by more recent authors such as Georgette Heyer.
Jane Eyre was an orphan who was left to the care of her Uncle Reed as a baby. When her Uncle died he made his wife promise to care for the young child, but by the time Jane was ten years old she was being so badly treated that she rebelled against her aunt. Her aunt then sent her to a charity-run boarding school where she was again mis-treated, but Jane made friends with the kind Miss Temple who ran the school, and from her she learned to be a lady. After her schooling, Jane worked for two years as a teacher at Lowood school, but when Miss Temple married and left the school, Jane applied for a position as a governess in a private household – a country estate called Thornfield.
Thornfield not only has a taciturn and moody master, but it harbours secrets and dangers which will threaten Jane’s dreams of security and happiness. Complete with unexpected plot twists and turns, this book has stood the test of time.