Today I finished reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The first part of the book was … interesting. Jane Eyre opens by detailing the life of poor orphan Jane, sent to live with her mean aunt and cousins. This part of the book seemed unoriginal to me, because so many books start with an orphan living with mean relatives. I felt quite bored, especially as at the start of the novel I didn’t really feel any empathy for the character of Jane.
Jane then goes on to narrate her life at the Lowood school which she is sent to for education. This part of the book was definitely more eventful than her family life, and while I was not particularly enjoying the book at this point, I felt like it did pick up a little bit.
For me, the book started to be enjoyable to read when Jane left school and became a governess at Thornfield. This is where the drama starts and it gets exciting. I couldn’t put the book down once I got to this part, because everything that happens is suddenly so much more interesting once we meet Rochester. Without wanting to spoil anything, it really is worth persevering through the less interesting parts of the novel because the good parts are really good.
One of the things I liked about this book is that most of the characters were there for a reason. There weren’t any that were useless to the plot. My main issue was that Jane isn’t the easiest protagonist to sympathise with, and I found myself becoming slightly irritated with her.
The character of Rochester was probably one of my favourites in the book. I found the part where Rochester pretends to be a fortune teller a really funny side to his character. While Rochester is essentially the stereotypical mysterious older love interest, I don’t think this really took away from the book much.
The side characters like the Reeds, Mrs Fairfax and Helen Burns were all necessary to the story and interesting enough, but nothing remarkable.
Overall, I enjoyed the second half of this book, but the first half was nowhere near as good.