Jane is an orphan and taken in by a strict Aunt. Her cousins are spoilt, hypocritical, and arrogant, and when Jane stands her ground once too often, she is finally banished to an institution. A terrible period of poverty, neglect, and harsh discipline follows, but Jane is not diminished. As a young woman, Jane takes a governess position at the wonderfully atmospheric Thornfield Hall, and the story begins in earnest. There is nothing predictable or cliched about the forbidden, blossoming romance between Jane and Mr Rochester. This is a meeting of minds. And yet there’s a timeless appeal in the young, naive woman and the older, wealthy, and somewhat mysterious older man. But the path of true love never runs smooth and Bronte throws some big spanners in the works with clever plot twists and perfect timing. And just when we think all is going to be well, along comes a revelation to blow apart everything that has gone before.
Jane Eyre is a powerful novel with strong moral and social values directing the plot; where only God, truth, and love are fully respected. Character is at the heart of the story, revealing fey and selfish actions to be ultimately worthless, regardless of social standing. There are many parallels in which Bronte exposes society roles and their falsehoods. And yet… little substance is granted to the poor, mad soul in the attic. Considering the Victorian era in which Jane Eyre was written, there are long passages of description and introspection which require some patience and perseverance. However, the other ingredients are faultless and there’s no doubt that as a protagonist, Jane Eyre – with her indomitable human spirit – is a superb character to champion.