by Charlotte Bronte
I began reading Jane Eyre just to open my horizons on well-known historic authors a little and was immediately drawn in by the main character. As a child, Jane had a certain fire to her that I could respect and on the strength of that, I added several other Bronte sisters books to my Kindle with intent.
As the book progressed, I felt it slowed and Jane became far too complacent to hold my interest. However, I was too invested to stop so continued reading and occasionally found a trace of the spark from her childhood.
I didn't like Rochester much. He played games to manipulate Jane too much, though he gets a point for having the sense to see when he was being drawn into a convenience marriage for a gold-digger. I couldn't understand why Jane would love him or put up with his mind games, or exactly when her feelings for him developed.
My interest was revived about 65% in, when a twist I should have seen coming put Jane in a situation of personal conflict. I had a real struggle through this as I had to remember the morés of the times which conflict with my own natural inclinations of what I would do in the same situation.
Some of the choices she made I found both brave and foolish. That she had the strength of character to trust to her own resourcefulness over relying on the charity of others was part of what made her such an interesting character. In a time period when Lara Croft could not exist, she showed the resilience of a truly strong woman.
The one thing I found really awkward wad the unfinished place names. ----shire and other half words broke the flow occasionally. In the end I'm glad I've read the story now. I felt that Jane was too service oriented for me to really identify with her, but I did admire the spirit that she showed on occasion, particularly on the occasions when the path of least resistance would have led her to paths in her life that would not have made her happy, but she refused to be bullied when cornered.
I will mention, classic or no, that this book would have run into some problems if it was submitted to a publisher today. Apart from the place names already mentioned, the author occasionally broke the fourth wall rule, but too occasionally to call it writing style. She also changed from past tense to present tense in a couple of chapters. Some things I thought were far too drawn out and especially at the end when it's obvious how it will all come out, it was belaboured to an excruciating degree.
Still, it's a product of its time and I will be reading more of this sort of classic over time, including more Bronte sisters.