24 December 2008

200-word review: 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte

I should have read ‘Jane Eyre’ years ago, when I performed a monologue based on an extract from the novel at two drama festivals, but I started halfway through to save time and soon gave up. I wish now that I’d stuck at it, because this is a brilliant novel, deserving of its status as a classic work of English literature.

A plot summary wouldn’t do the story justice. It takes place over at least a decade, covering the childhood and early adulthood of the eponymous heroine, and incorporates several different storylines, the most famous being that of her relationship with Mr Rochester. I already knew the story, having seen a couple of screen adaptations, but this didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the novel. The use of language is bewitching, particularly the distinctive Bronte touch of incorporating landscape, weather and superstition into the narrative as if they are all inextricably linked.

The only bit I didn’t like was the section about Jane’s time in Morton, which, while not superfluous, seemed to drag and detract from the far more interesting love story. Other than that, I loved the novel and will almost certainly read it many time in years to come.

1 comment:

hopeinbrazil said...

Lovely review. It's been a favorite of mine for years.