Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
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Everything about this audiobook was outstanding, but I think the most important part for me was Emma Messenger's reading. Her voice, her rhythm as she read the story, her tempo, her subtle and pointed inflections, and her vocal interpretations of the characters brought me into the story and made me feel as if I was living the story with all the characters. Sometimes when I am listening to an audiobook, my mind wanders. Not with this one. I was engaged 100%. Thank you audible.com, thank you Charlotte Bronte and thank you Emma Messenger.
Emma Messenger is fantastic here! I have always loved this novel, and have read it many times, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed it as much as I did during this listen. One of my pet peeves with narrators of classics is when they read them woodenly, stumble over the language, or read as if they are reciting the phone book. Emma Messenger breathed such life into her narration that it felt like Jane herself was speaking to me.
I found her interpretations of characters ideal, especially Jane and Mr. Rochester. She really conveyed the passion and frustration between them. She managed to give each character a unique voice without sounding as if she were straining her own.
I plan to download other books narrated by Emma Messenger. I cannot express enough how truly enjoyable her interpretation of this novel is!
Also, with the classics I love, I tend to download different version of the same story (since they are often less than the cost of a sandwich here on Audible!) to have a different interpretation or version of the same novel. I have no intention of downloading another version on Jane Eyre, though, since this is perfection.
Emma Messenger does a fine job with this overall impressive version of this great classic. It was wonderful to live Jane's life again. I had read it when I was a young girl and enjoyed it much more; got much more out of it, after returning to it after many years.
I had read Jane Eyre in school, but never remembered enjoying it as much then as I enjoyed this reading. The narration really brings out the story - her voice is perfect for this book.
Emma Messenger's sublime narration rendered this 1847 British classic even more beautiful. This is truly a flawless performance.
As for the text, well, what can anyone say? Jane Eyre is a gothic romance, but also the autobiographical yet fictional story of Jane, her joyless childhood at Gateshead with the miserable Reed family, her grim schooling at Lowood with the unjust Mr. Brocklehurst, her position as governess to Adele, her wonderful soul-mating bond with the Byronic vulcan, Edward Rochester...and...the rest of the story. Beautiful ending, with a heartwarming and deeply satisfying HEA (happy ever after).
This novel moves me on several levels, as a stirring romance, of course, but also as a character sketch, a tribute to Jane's courage, integrity, spiritualism, and self-containment.
Charlotte Brontë was ahead of her time, portraying proto-feminism and self-determination when most women were powerless.
Many of us are likely to have read Jane Eyre when we were too young to understand the characters in the context of their era and mores. It was wonderful to listen to Charlotte Bronte's story again, part autobiography and part invention. Having recently read other books by the Bronte sisters and knowing their personal stories, Jane Eyre was especially worthwhile. Of course, the ending is unbelievably sappy for our times, but I imagine how it impacted readers of Bronte's time (1847). Some of the messages are difficult, for instance, the treatment of mentally ill people by confinement, or the impact that strict religious beliefs had on the "humane" treatment of orphans, or the emphasis on class distinctions to the exclusion of true character.
Almost 22 hours makes this a long listen, but well worth the effort. Emma Messenger was a fine narrator.
What's not to love? Jane Eyre has been one of my favorite books since I was 13 years old and Emma Messenger is possibly my favorite narrator. Her voice is so soothing I wish she could personally read me to sleep every night, even during the exciting parts of the book. This audiobook is like listening to poetry. Simply perfection.
I would definitely be willing to listen to this version of Charlotte Bronte's greatest work again.
I shall never forget all that Jane went through during her days of deprivation and hunger.
This was my first time listening to one of Emma Messenger's performances. She was wonderful! I would love to hear other books read by her.
I could have easily listened to this book in just one sitting.
The story its self is your typical classic of the time. In the same lines of the Wuthering Heights, Rebbecca, ect. To me it is one of the better of these stories. The telling of this tale is well written, suspenseful, even when you know the genre and know what to expect, it is a wonderful story. The actual reading of it is exceedingly well done, the various voices and tones used to portray the different characters to communicate the feeling behind the words. All very well done. I highly praise this narrator.
Jane Eyre doesn't need my recommendation, but Emma Messenger's narration is first-rate. She isn't just dramatically gifted: she actually shows real insight into the story. The result is one of those rare but wonderful instances when an actor/narrator manages to teach an old professor of literature a few new things about a work he thought he had exhausted.
The story and psychology was so present day and immediate. The depth of self awareness, articulation of thoughts and values and self possession within Jane. Is this an art that has been lost to the person of today?
My favourite character is Jane - multi dimensional, immediate and real.
This is the first performance I have listened to by Emma Messenger. I think it is really good, top class, absorbing. I think Emma really captured the characters in her variation and totally capture Jane. I will be listening to more from this narrator.
I spent a lot more time in each session that I had planned. I made time to listen to more.
one of my all time favorites. I love, how from the start, as a reader you are totally on Jane's side. Emma Messenger was a fantastic narrator. all in all a fantastic experience
"Jane Eyre read brilliantly"
I have always loved this novel and Emma Messenger reads it perfectly. I quickly became immursed in the story and I fell in love all over again with Mr. Rochester and his antics to make Jane jealous.
"A brilliant story from start to finish"
From the language, to the insights, to the period, and all the vivid characters of which jane is the shining star; this book is a treat I had not expected. Yes it is romantic but what a romance, you can not but love jane, her indomitable spirit, her relentless thirst to stand as a person, to be the best she could be.
We meet Jane as a child living in wretched conditions that go from bad to slightly better, it is only her determination and the kindness of a teacher that let her flower where most vanished, she becomes independent by her own self reliance and education, and when she finds love she will only accept it in her own terms . She is nobody's fool or pet, she is the definition of liberation, and she relinquishes only what she wants to relinquish, no more no less. This happens in a world that is socially divided on all aspects (during the reign of George III 1760–1820) and where religion is still the backbone of every action but not in the kindness of Christ but the tyrannical old testament god. But most of the female character find solace in the philosophy of forgiveness and charity
This is a book that is proto feminist and way ahead of its time. Charlotte Brontë was called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and has influenced many other works of literature, as well as influencing social consciousness towards the treatment of children, class division, and the rights women. but most of all it is a great read.
Emma Messenger is a fantastic narrator, she made the story come alive. Clear and well acted, I could not ask for better.
Jane Eyre has long been a favourite of mine, but hearing it read aloud makes me even more aware of what a great book this is. Charlotte Bronte really did have a very modern understanding of human nature, and even if the plot sometimes stretches credulity, and the morality a little outdated by today's standards, her knowledge and portrayal of characters are entirely believable. It's still easy to identify with Jane and, like her, fall head-over-heels for Mr Rochester!
Emma Messenger rightly allows the story to take centre stage by not over-dramatising her reading. Although the occasional rather odd pronunciation of various words is a little jarring, she gives a very competent reading of the long passages of dialogue which are uninterrupted by any helpful 'he said' or 'she said'. Not easy, but Emma Messenger still manages to make it quite clear which character is speaking.
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