eBook Exchange is back! Our August eBook Exchange post will feature a review of Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel, Jane Eyre, as well as a link to where you can read it for free on Google Books.
I first read Jane Eyre when I was fifteen-years-old. I’ve found that a lot of people are turned off by the novel’s length and it’s complex Victorian language, but I was enraptured by it, even as a teenager. I loved the secret turmoil hidden beneath the buttoned-up Victorian façade. More importantly, I loved how Jane’s character was so refreshingly different from any other Victorian heroine I had ever read.
Don’t get me wrong; I am most certainly a lover of Jane Austen. But I have always felt that, in comparison to a character like Jane Eyre, Austen’s heroines are somewhat flat and one-dimensional. While their primary objective always seems to be love and marriage, Jane’s objective is integrity, compassion and strong sense of self.
Romance is great in a novel, but is it really enough to make it a life-changing literary experience? Jane Eyre manages to have both a passionate love story and a strong, fiercely independent female protagonist. Jane has her happily-ever-after in the end, but she gets it on her terms; something unheard of for a Victorian woman.
In short, I think Jane Eyre is a refreshingly different heroine that all readers can gain inspiration from. As one Google Books reviewer wrote, “I wonder why I left [this book] on the shelf for so long… Possibly because I thought I would meet another character like Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary. Instead, I discovered the story of a beautifully modern woman.”
I am sure that once you meet Jane, you will come to love her character as much as I do. And thanks to Google Books, you can get to know her by reading the eBook version of Jane Eyre in its entirety, for free!