Its a fantastic story. Its well paced and with good detail without being flowery and Jane herself is likeable and not overtly emotional as many heroines of her era were. I remember reading this book for school and having to analyse it line by line which does nothing to endear the classics to students, but now listening to it as an adult, and having it so beautifully narrated was such joy. I found myself driving around the block snd walking for an extra half hour just to listen to it more.
I approached Jane Eyre as a sort of literary castor oil, something I knew I should read one of these days but didn't feel much enthusiasm for. I already knew the basic story, and I'm really not into wish-fulfillment women's fiction, even if it is classic Victorian literature. To my surprise, I rather enjoyed it.
A modern editor would probably have cut much of the last third of the book, in which Jane flees from Thornfield Hall after learning Mr. Rochester's deep dark secret, and then spends many chapters with her new family, the Rivers, and not much happens except that a fortune falls into her lap, she has to entertain a marriage proposal, and then she goes off to find Rochester again and discovers him conveniently widowed and in need of an angelic woman to nurse him back to health. So they live happily ever after, the end.
Okay, there are some more details to the last part of the book that make it worth reading, like the studied contrast between the good and noble but cold and severe St. John Rivers and the hot-blooded romantic bad boy Edward Rochester. I did not like Rochester; he's not as horrible as Heathcliff, the romantic bad boy created by Charlotte's sister Emily in Wuthering Heights, but I think both Bronte sisters had some seriously warped ideas about what made a man desirable. Crazily, passionately in love with you and otherwise amoral and willing to destroy anyone and anything that gets between you? Yes, you can probably blame the Brontes in part for this trope that persists in romantic fantasies to this day. Jane Eyre is totally wish-fulfillment for women who want a Rochester or a Heathcliff to obsess over them. But it's a classic and well-written and while I wouldn't say Charlotte Bronte's understanding of human nature was particularly broad or even enlightened, she had a fine eye for the detailed personalities of her small cast of characters in the little world she created.
So, is Jane Eyre worth reading? Definitely.
Juliet Stevenson is fantastic. I have always liked her as an actress, but I am astounded by her skill as a reader. She moved me to tears a few times. I highly recommend this version.
While Stevenson did a great job throughout, I must say I was in awe of her reading of the passage about Helen Burns' demise. I cried and cried.
Who can choose? So many are great!
We listened in several sittings. My daughter and I don't simply listen; we read along.
I am eager to listen to more of Stevenson's reading of the great novels.
This novel is so well known, I will limit my comments to Juliet Stevenson's reading. Thank you, Juliet Stevenson, for bringing so much understanding and nuance to all the characters. I have read JANE EYRE at least three times before. But thanks to Juliet Stevenson's insightful narration -- using pauses and emphases and intonations at points where I would not have imagined them but which seem exactly right -- listening to this audio book was like reading the books
anew. The character of Jane Eyre emerged for me as a true feminist / humanist hero who refuses to betray her own self and dreams but who also questions herself constantly -- which is how she knows who she is and what matters in life. Juliet Stevenson moves us through these interior inquiries with such great heart and understanding. But she also allows all the other characters to come alive and live before us. Bravo, Ms. Stevenson!
There are do many layers in this story..Bronte has not only created a classic, whose story may now be common, but the replicas will not capture the depth of character development the author has endeavoured and managed to do convey. Juliet Stevenson is the best narrator there ever is. Her performance on this work moved me so deeply. I've not written a review in a decade.. and I'm not moved easily, but this work did so.
Transportive. Romantic. Heartwrenching.
Juliette Stevenson was perfect. This was such an enjoyable, immersive experience. I don't normally rave over a book reading, but I shall never forget how deeply I got into this. Of course, the saga story is superb, but Juliet made it so realistic that I felt I was there with Jane.
Of course, Jane.
I think when she ran away and her difficult journey on the road.
Give that woman a Grammy!
narration by Juliet Stevenson!
I am revisiting 12th grade English as an adult, didn't anticipate the richness added by the enfleshment of characters provided by Ms. Stevenson's presentation.