The first time I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was about ten years ago. I remember being so angry with Mr. Rochester and Jane about half way through the book, when Jane leaves Thornfield, that I shoved the book under the couch and refused to read it for over a week. This time however was different.
In my maturity I held a new appreciation for both these characters and understood their actions. The passion Jane and Mr. Rochester have for each other touched me deeply. The ending is so sweet and lovely. Yet what struck me this time through is that I kept expecting Jane to cower in the corner, to succumb to her circumstances but she doesn't. Jane remains obedient, gentle, but still strong and independent. When Jane is facing heartbreak, loss she shows triumph...
"Who in the world cares for you?... I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself."
Jane Eyre goes on the shelf as one of my all time favorite books. One to be read again and again.