Check what I am currently reading, and my books list through Nanna Iskandar’s Goodreads [click here].
I have always been a big fan of classic literature. After several times trying to pick which books would best suit me to read in 2023, I chose Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë to start the year. Here is my honest review:
I read this book once in Junior High School, and as an adolescent girl then, I could not comprehend the idea that this book does not convey a love story. I rephrase — it might, but it has the depth that unravels not only a love story but feminism and Eyre’s strength as a woman. I had to give a three-star rating rather than a five after a more thorough consideration: of writing styles and Eyre’s abusive relationship with Mr Rochester.
This book has endless pages, and it felt daunting to flip page by page because of the descriptive style Brontë had writing this book. Although it did feel pleasant to imagine and had all the visuals running through my mind (because the detailed description helped a lot), it began super slow yet did not make me curious about what was going to come next. Even more disappointing for me knowing that most characters in Eyre’s childhood life did not appear and had no significant impact by the end of the story. In my humble and honest opinion, they were genuinely redundant. It lacks cohesiveness.
There are several problems I found icky in the book, too (nonetheless, I am trying not to spoil any story), such as Jane’s mad and toxic relationship with Mr Rochester, racism that lies within the whole book, and Eyre’s obnoxious character (as how she talked about the physical appearance of the two characters).
However, despite the tedious story and style, the three stars came from the feminist narrative of Eyre, which she went through beyond marriage (whilst, at that time, it was the only prospect girls her age could have) and did have dreams. She also did not let Rochester ‘own’ her (a deeper analysis of this argument can be found online). Incredibly in love with how Brontë criticised Christianity (through Lowood), as how people could easily use money and power and sell religion to people for more gain in those two commodities.
To conclude, I would recommend adults to read Brontë yet will not let youngsters read it without any discussion beforehand or throughout.