This evening we finished our fourth extended read-aloud book of our storybook year: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. I briefly blogged several weeks back about how much we expected to like Jane based upon the brutally honest way in which she verbally filleted her aunt, Mrs. Reed. We did, indeed, end up liking Jane, who, though set upon by trying circumstances and overbearing suitors, remained true to herself throughout the novel.
We also enjoyed the many clever and profound turns of phrase Ms. Brontë worked into her story. She succeeded in speaking simple but insightful truths about human character and emotion in strikingly beautiful words. We also found the denouement quite gratifying – Jane, an independent woman of means, returns to her true love on her own terms to complete her happiness and to create his.
And the verdict on Brontë vs. Brontë? We all enjoyed “Jane Eyre” more than “Wuthering Heights”. Both books deserve their status as classics. However, while we felt there was little to root for in the deeply flawed characters of Emily’s “Wuthering Heights”, we found ourselves quickly invested in Charlotte’s Jane and her happiness, which kept us a little more on the edge of our seats throughout this book.
And now? There are soooo many great books out there we could read next. We had considered Jane Austen, but may actually go for a Brontë triple-play by reading one of Anne’s.
Tune in here later this week, “same bat-time, same bat-channel“!