I’m fairly genre agnostic. While I tend toward the intersection of scifi/fantasy/horror with literary fiction, I’m open to most genres. I’ve generally added the caveat that romance was a genre that I’m not interested in. And, to be fair, it is on the lower end of the scale of my interests. That said, books like this, Wuthering Heights and the Austen and Eliot I’ve been reading demonstrate that I need to stop adding that caveat. I’m not headed out to buy a bunch of Harlequins any time soon, but it’s time I admit that, like any genre, there is great stuff to be found in it.
Jane Eyre is worthy of its reputation as a classic. I found it compelling from the very beginning, despite having the major plot twist spoiled years ago (speaking of which, spoilers for the rest of this paragraph). I enjoyed the characters, the writing and even the melodrama. The revelation at the wedding of the wife locked in the attic was well staged and, despite the spoilers, had an impact. The coincidence of her finding refuge with her cousins required some suspension of disbelief, but it really set up a very good final act. The men get off fairly easy in the book. St. John was a little over the top in his self righteousness, but I’ve met the type. And despite his disfigurement, I’m not sure if I like that he ended up marrying Jane after all. I’m still processing the way Jane’s faith played into that decision and Bronte’s approach to . Side note: Now that I’ve read this, I am looking forward to reading Wide Sargasso Sea. The story retold from the perspective of the locked away wife has a lot of promise.
While I prefer her sister’s novel, this is fully worthy of its reputation and I’m glad I finally got to it.
Owned But Previously Unread 2020 35/75
*Of course, I know it’s unfair to pit the Bronte sisters against Austen in this way