Bookseller Jocelyn G. writes today's post.
I am OK with the fact I have lived this long and just gotten around to reading Jane Eyre (you notice I can't say 're-reading'), by Charlotte Bronte. I'll let your imagination run wild with just exactly how long that has been. At first I figured I was just the last person on the planet to read this classic- until I started confessing. Funnily enough, most people got that vague, evasive look in their eyes as they assured me 'yes, oh yes, of course I've read it- but awhile ago'. I think NOT. Let's face it: Jane Eyre has gone out of style. What else can I think since it wasn't required reading in my high school or college? So the reason I'm talking about it now is- I liked it. Yes, it's a bit old fashioned but that's not so terrible. Not every book that involves a romance has to be all about tearing clothes off, either (this one isn't, so if that's the only reason you want to read it, might as well skip it). Another reason I'm bringing up Jane Eyre is to compare it to Wuthering Heights, written by Charlotte's sister Emily. I had to read Wuthering Heights for my book club. (Notice, dear reader, I again have to say 'read, not re-read'.) (And my mother was an English teacher...)So I read Wuthering Heights, complaining the whole way. Emily Bronte obviously has a different style of writing and perception about what makes entertaining reading from sister Charlotte. I have to confess I didn't see the point of that book even once I had finished it. Burnt oatmeal, darkness and violent misery pervade each chapter. That there was the slightest lifting of gloom by the last pages wasn't enough to salvage that book for me. Inbreeding, poverty, and bad weather are bad for your health-- big news flash. Add heartbreak to the list for this book's purposes.
So- if you find yourself wanting to brag about something, I say read Jane Eyre. It gets more interesting the further you get into it. It will make you appreciate your upbringing (which can't help but have been better than hers was) and will enable you to name-drop a recently read (or yes, re-read) classic with confidence.