Jane Eyre's early life was not a happy one. Orphaned as an infant, taken in by a benevolent uncle, then left to the devices of her hateful aunt upon his death - Jane was neglected, abused, unloved and despised for the first ten years of her life. However, the young orphan possessed a unique spirit, fiery and enduring. After flying into a fit of passion so powerful that it scared her much older and much larger Aunt Reed, Jane is sent to Lowood Institution, a school for girls. Unfortunately, the transition isn't much of an improvement. The manager of the school, Mr. Brocklehurst, is even worse than Aunt Reed, forcing the girls to wear plain and uncomfortable dresses, feeding them inedible meals, and not sparing them a moment for leisure. Eventually, however, the local townspeople become privy to the goings-on at the school and intervene - Mr. Brocklehurst is deposed and a more reasonable board takes over the management of the school. Jane is content to pass the rest of her school career there, and even two further years as a teacher. However, at the tender age of 18, the young heroine begins to feel a restless desire to see more of the world than the narrow confines she has heretofore inhabited. Jane's spirit is not of a type to let life pass her by and she takes initiative, seeking a position as a governess - the decision that leads her to the dark but majestic Thornfield Hall, and her fate.
When Jane arrives at Thornfield, she is surprised to find that the kind old lady with whom she has been corresponding is not the mother of her charge, but merely the housekeeper. Her new master is in fact the older, enigmatic, unhandsome and sometimes surly Mr. Rochester. Only a few days pass, however, before Jane comes to realize that within his grim breast resides a kindred spirit. When she begins to detect more than friendly feelings stirring within her, she resolutely tries to squash them, but to no avail. Mr. Rochester's own behavior toward her is inscrutable; at times he is the kindest of men, at others he is like a sleeping bear. Their relationship is helped along, however, by a series of mysterious mishaps at Thornfield. First, Mr. Rochester is nearly burned alive in his bed. Then, a stranger appears from the West Indies and is attacked and bitten in the attic. Everyone at Thornfield seems to be in on the secret except Jane, but it's not long before an unexpected and inevitable series of events brings her face-to-face with the heartbreaking truth.
Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre is a tale of fire and passion, class and custom. It is Bronte's best-loved and best-known novel for a reason. Her writing is descriptive and enchanting, immediately drawing readers into Jane's world. Her young heroine is one for the ages - strong-willed and fiery, but loving, gentle and strong in her principles. It's impossible not to love Jane and sympathize entirely in her trials and tribulations from the first moment readers see her fly into a fit of passion at her oppressors. Her journey is described by Bronte in exquisite detail, with alternating moments of poignant sadness and witty humor. Her social commentary is undeniable and incisive; even though modern readers live in a very different world, the message still resonates. While Mr. Rochester does not exactly fit the stereotype of the dashing and gallant hero, readers will find him intriguing and captivating - accompanying Jane on the highs and lows of their dark romance. For newcomers to this classic story, the magnificent plot twists will come as a utter and delicious surprise, keeping them on the edges of their seats to see if the seemingly insuperable obstacles can be overcome and the lovers united at last. For old fans of the classic novel, re-reading Jane Eyre is like meeting with an old friend - simultaneously comforting and exciting. The cast of characters are varied and quirky, creating an entertaining backdrop for the mainstage action of the heroine and hero. The more unearthly elements add spice to the story and will sometimes cause readers to question exactly what world they're inhabiting alongside the airy heroine. Jane Eyre is a gripping gothic tale that blends mystery with hints of the supernatural, producing a romance that withstands the test of time.