Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brnnte is one of my favorite nineteenth century novels. The story is narrated by Jane and chronicles her life as a governess in a mysterious mansion.
Jane teaches at a boarding school for orphan girls (where she spent several years) when she decides to become a private governess. She finds employment in a large mansion in the English countryside. Jane teaches Adele, a French girl cared for by the mansions's owner. The house, for all its grandeur, is a gloomy place, until its tall owner, Mr. Rochester, returns from his journey. He is cool and distant toward Jane at first, but the two soon become friends and Jane finds herself in love with him.
The novel is filled with plot twists and mystery. Who is the mysterious tenant in the attic who once nearly burned the house down? Will the beautiful, but haughty, Blanche Ingram come between Jane and Mr. Rochester? These are just a couple of the questions which need to be answered.
Jane Eyre is romantic without being sappy or trite. The pace is nearly perfect and kept me turning pages to find out what happened. The story avoids becoming tedious, as some English novels are. It's easy to see why the book is such a classic. So, if you like novels that blend mystery and romance, you will probably enjoy Jane Eyre. n
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