Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Puffin Classics
by Charlotte Bronte
Publisher: Puffin Books
Mass market paperback, 643 pages
List Price: $8.99 Sale Price: $7.64
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Orphaned Jane Eyre endures an unhappy childhood, hated by her aunt and cousins and then sent to comfortless Lowood School. But life there improves and Jane stays on as a teacher, though she still longs for love and friendship. At Mr. Rochester's house, where she goes to work as a governess, she hopes she might have found them—until she learns the terrible secret of the attic.

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Summary: Jane goes from unwanted orphan, to boarding school teacher, to a governess who catches the eye of the mysterious Mr. Rochester.

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  Closer to 9th Grade...
Sincerelyornot, 6/24/2011
This is one of those books that everyone tells their kid to read because it's a classic, but all too often, they can't say why.

The case for classic status:
The book's theme of doing what is right (exemplified by the main character alone) is strong, central, and portrayed with subtlety. Secondly, Bronte's writing is good and strongly typical of the time period. She was one of the early inventors of the gothic genre. It helps that Charolette Bronte and her sister are famous literary figures with a juicy backstory. Finally, the book ends in a dramatically memorable way.

Why I think it goes on the reading list AFTER eighth grade:
To start with, that dramatic ending is supposed to prove a point about the book' theme, a point that was completely lost on me as a 6th grader. And the cruelties suffered by various characters are the stuff of nightmares, only marginally worth wading through to grasp the philosophical points.

If you're going to try and read through the classics, this one of the best gothic novels of all time. Overall, its a book worth reading, just not too early on that recommended list.