When I received Jane Eyre in the mail I was ready to spring into action to read this beloved tale that regularly tops peoples favorite book lists. People get misty just thinking about this book and I imagined myself joining this well read group of academics, pining for good ol' Mr Rochester, imaging myself roaming the hills around Thornfield.... Only it didn't go down quite like that. First off, this isn't a book you can polish off in a couple swift settings. (Well, maybe you can but I couldn't) So I would read a bit then something flashy would land on my nightstand and Jane Eyre would sit abandoned or a book club pick would need read and again my Bronte classic would sit shut. It was such a cool looking book I never minded having it bedside, it's very presence made me feel accomplished. Finally, a year later I decided it was time to knuckle down and finish. And I did find myself reaching a point when I was excited to pick it up at night, toting it along to piano lessons and sneaking it downstairs to read a page or two between loads of laundry or dishes. I even shed sentimental tears on the last page but overall it was, to quote 'the dawg', "just alright for me".
You know how he generally gets booed for that line, I pretty much got a similar reaction from the fellow book babes. When I mentioned that I read it at book club and it was just ok, no stars and rockets and life changing stuff, some of them (Crystal, Sara and Elisabeth) had a reaction akin to one as if I had said something like 'I hate puppies and babies'. I'll admit when I first finished I was worried, was I too dumb to get this book?? So I turned to the movie thinking that if I missed some huge plot point my eyes would be opened by the cinematic, but....I guess I'm missing the Jane Eyre lovin' gene. (Although movie Mr Rochester was so much better than the Rochester I conjured in my imagination.)
And don't get me wrong, I didn't hate the book, I just didn't LOVE the book. I'm still glad to have read it, now I can be in the know with any Jane Eyre/Thornfield/Rochester literary reference (I imagine this really upping my Jeopardy game) and I've been waiting to read the Eyre Affair for over a year now, so next time I'm between books, I'm covered.
Maybe everyone built it up too much, maybe there was just too much pressure to 'connect' with this classic, am I the only girl out there who read this book and had only a luke warm reaction? Do I need to make a doctor appointment stat and get some extra estrogen rolling? Perhaps there's an herbal remedy? Let me know....til then I'm taking on 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.