For our September book club, we chose a book that would be assigned as part of a high school curriculum – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I have to admit that this book has taken me a while to finish. I think that you have to be in the right space to read the intricate prose that uses much description to tell the story. I started listening to the story during my commutes and enjoyed the narration of the podcast and have finished off by actually reading the last third of the book.
While I may not have been in the right space to enjoy the classic writing style, I did enjoy the overall story of Jane’s unfortunate struggle. The story began with the orphan being neglected and mistreated by her Aunt and cousins before being sent to boarding school. Jane was bright, articulate and kind to others leading to her role as a teacher in her school and then a governess for the ward of Mr. Rochester.
The poor governess falls in love with her employer and while the feelings are reciprocated, circumstances keep the couple apart. Jane finds love, lives in poverty, helps others and eventually learns more about her own family in this classic tale. Reading it in the summer is likely not the best timing and reading it on a cool evening, by the fire seems more appropriate.
While I did enjoy the story, I can’t imagine my high school age sons ever having the patience or interest to finish this story. It is likely a good thing that their English teachers have tried to introduce more current novels such as Stephen King and Life of Pi. I look forward to the book club discussion in September.