Back in March, I started a feature on the blog called “A Letter To”. During the month I wrote letters to various characters. March’s letters were dedicated to some of my favorite female characters as part of Women’s History Month. I was going to bring the feature back as a Friday feature in May, and while I do plan on resuming the feature at some point, I had a different idea for a weekly feature: Take a Chance on Classics. I know there’s a few people participating in a classics challenge & I’ve seen blog posts by bloggers who WANT to start reading classics but keep getting intimidated each time. So throughout the month, on Fridays I’ll be making the case for a few well-known classic books I think might be accessible to people who want to read “classics” but feel overwhelm. This week’s book? Jane Eyre.
Making the Case for Jane Eyre
I’m not going to lie and say that Jane Eyre is just as accessible as my first pick for this Take A Chance feature, which was Sherlock Holmes. Jane Eyre does have a chapter or two of build-up, and I struggled through the first few pages when I began reading this book years ago. That being said, I found it picked up rather quickly and seriously, I picked this book for this feature because it contains everything. A bit of a school story? Sure. Sadness? Yup. Romance? You betcha. Mystery? Yeah, got that in stock too. Disguises? Beautiful prose? Want a Gothic novel? Here you go, served right up in one large helping!
I don’t think that every Jane Eyre will appeal to every reader, but this is one of those books that I feel like most readers will enjoy at least certain aspects, if not the whole thing. There’s enough variety in the book to satisfy whatever your reading taste happens to be. As it is, Jane is quite a strong female character, perhaps a bit ahead of her time, and if you’re a fan of those kinds of books(as I am), well you can find that here too.
I’ve personally found Jane Eyre a remarkably quick read and personally I find it easier, and perhaps slightly better than Jane Austen novels (not that I don’t love my Austen as well). Once the story starts, I think most readers who give Jane Eyre a shot will let the “classic” label fall into the background and instead enjoy a really captivating story.
I’ll Recommend This For:
Not every book will be for everyone, and a classic book is no different! However, these are the people I would really recommend at least try reading Jane Eyre.
If you like the following TV shows:
Disclaimer: I have never actually watched an episode of Downtown Abbey. However, I have it on good authority that this would be a good match.
If you like the following books:
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The actual content of the novels differ greatly, but if you liked the overall Gothic feeling of The Madman’s Daughter, you might enjoy the similar(though perhaps slightly tone-down) atmosphere of Jane Eyre.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Not a YA book, but one I really enjoyed because of the Gothic atmosphere and the constant allusions to Jane Eyre. I don’t necessarily think if you like Jane Eyre you’ll like this book, but I feel like it would work the other way around the majority of the time.
In The End:
Jane Eyre might not be the obvious choice for a pick for this feature. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights often get lumped in & compared to Jane Austen’s work, which most people are more familiar with. While I also heavily recommend Jane Austen, I find Jane Eyre might be a better pick for skeptical classic readers because the story is a bit broader and quicker-paced. It won’t be for everyone, but as said previously, I really believe that most people would be able to find at least one aspect of the story that they’ll really enjoy.
That’s my take a chance on a classic pick this week! Next week I’ll spotlight another classic piece of fiction and discuss that, but for now, let me know your thoughts on Jane Eyre–adaptations, the originals, and if you’re a fan or not(or will maybe give it a chance).
Previous Take A Chance on a Classic picks: