Thursday, 28 March 2013

Challenge - Jane Eyre

Image sourced from here
I got given Jane Eyre many years ago. Much to my mother’s distaste. In fact I mentioned to her the other day I was reading it and she groaned. And flopped over. And continued groaning and stooping lower and lower until her arms were dragging on the floor while she trudged around the kitchen at an incredibly slow and thumping rate.

If you think I’m prone to overreaction and drama, you should meet my Mum.

It then emerged that she couldn’t quite remember reading it as she ran around the house warbling “Cathy!!!” and I pointed out that was the wrong sister and book, not that I have read Wuthering Heights either. She did finally remember reading it when I was speculating on the end, and she got an evil grin on her face, opened her mouth, clamped both hands over it quickly, and ran away.

See my previous comment. Throw in my Dad’s Yorkshire tendencies to tell long, rambley stories over a pint or 7, and I didn’t stand a chance.

So on my second attempt to read it, I finished. I had to read it. We share a name. In fact when I came across the quote, which I actually really like;

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!” –p282

I am wondering if my good friend in high school calling me (and writing all over my stuff) “Jane, plain and small” was actually her being literary. Strong possibility.

So what did I actually think? I loved the first half of the book. Besides the love of semi-colons (says the girl with the love of commas and parentheses), I really enjoyed the writing. And she at least knew how to use those semi-colons. I loved the feeling of being back in Yorkshire. I loved the moors. I liked Jane. I even liked Mr Rochester. As I said to Mum, “He’s actually quite funny and intelligent. Until he doesn’t stop talking. He just goes on and on and becomes ridiculous, and you just wish you could shake him and say ‘Oh just stop talking!! I liked you so much better when you weren’t talking!!’”. She pointed out in mirth that may be the pot calling the kettle black. Bah.

But then it goes a bit pear-shaped. The big twist in events happens. She meets St John Rivers, who needs to get the .. hell... over himself frankly. The book gets ridiculously preachy. I got stuck in sermons that I didn’t realise I being lead into, and that made me grumpy at the characters for breaching my trust. Oh and then the end! Dear god!

So I’m glad I read it. I liked the first 300pp or so. It was going to be a 4 starrer I thought. It would pull me out of this 3 star slump I’ve been in. But alas, it was not to be.

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