Saturday, November 15, 2014

Audiobook: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Read by Susan Eriksen

Synopsis:  Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled and shocked readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.

My Thoughts: I have read this classic more than ten years ago during high school. I remember being enamored by the story and falling in love with Jane's character. Jane Eyre became one of my favorite books. I've always wanted to re-read it and was finally given the opportunity to do so for a read-along. Instead of reading the physical book though, I decided to try the audiobook.

It was very nice to be read a beloved favorite. When I first read this book, I was completely amazed at the Gothic feel that the book had and how advanced Jane was. This second "read" was more of a walk through memory lane. I kept calling out, "Oh yeah! I remember that!" most of the time. I felt giddy as if I were a kid being read to.

What did change for me was Mr. Rochester's character. My feelings towards him became a bit different. At first, I felt completely sorry for Rochester for the predicament that he was in, and I was shocked at his fate towards the end. As a teen, I pitied him. Now as an adult, I saw him in a new light. Yes, it was unfortunate at the situation Rochester was in but I came to realize how deceptive and self-centered he was. He wanted Jane so he lied and hid things from her. I did not like that about him and thought that Jane deserved better. But alas, I couldn't help but root for Rochester to end up with her.

Another character who changed for me was Jane. I actually grew to love her even more. I loved how independent, brave, and outspoken she was especially for this time period. Though she held many ideals of a feminist, I still enjoyed that she was still a passionate woman. She was sentimental and selfless. Her feelings were easily hurt and she loved Rochester like any other woman would a man. With this read, I came to learn more about Jane: she was prejudiced towards beautiful people. It was interesting to realize this but I was not surprised why her feelings were the way they were. It just made her more real to me.

Next, it was a great joy to listen to Susan Eriksen read this classic. She did a fabulous job making this story come to life for she was able to put a lot of emotion into her reading. I felt what Jane felt and was able to feel the spookiness at all the eerie scenes. With her change of tone for the different characters and situations, I was able to picture the story like a movie. I did not find myself bored once with her reading.

As a whole, this was a well put production. I do admit that I did not completely fall in love with the whole book like I did back in high school, but I did come to appreciate Jane's character even more. Sadly, Rochester changed a little bit in my eyes but he was still a great character. I rate it:


  1. It is so interesting how when we read a book years later how it impacts us differently.

    Rochester is so flawed! Yet I do feel terribly sorry for him, at least as of his reading for me. I am still trying to wrap my head around his condition at the end of the book.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thank you for stopping by to comment on my review. It is interesting to see how our opinions change/grow when re-reading a book years later. It makes me wonder if I read other books when I was younger again, would I still feel the same way?