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: