Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book.
Amber is a library technician on the ASU-Beebe campus.
I have many favorite books. As I’m sure most readers do! Here is a short version of that long list: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, the Redwall series, anything by Jane Austen, and Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is the book I chose to write about for this feature. It’s one of the very few I’ve read more than once.
The character of Jane resonates with many people. She was continually mistreated through out her life. Starting with her adopted family after she became an orphan at a young age. And, during her time at Lowood School, which had strict rules and harsh punishment for rule breakers, like Jane. Through out her childhood Jane kept her spirit and was not tamed or broken by her severe environment. Once she left Lowood School life continued to be simple, plain, and a little bit dreary. However, Jane was happy with her life. Simple and plain is what she wanted. Until she met Mr. Rochester.
Jane soon realizes after meeting Mr. Rochester that maybe she does want more in life than to be a governess or become a spinster. Even as she and Mr. Rochester fall in love and vow to be married something sinister is at work in her life. Unbeknownst to Jane. After a tragic secret is revealed Jane decides she cannot marry Mr. Rochester and must leave Thornfield. She leaves abruptly with none of her possessions. After wandering the moors, she nearly succumbs to exposure, but thankfully is found by St. John Rivers. He and his sisters take her in and make her a sister of their own. Eventually, Jane finds work as a teacher. She again is content and happy being able to support herself and live in her own home for the first time in her life. However, she still carries the sorrow of Mr. Rochester’s betrayal and her love for him. I’ll stop there with my summary, because I encourage everyone to read the book for themselves.
I will say that Jane Eyre has one of the most resolute, long suffering, and strong spirits I’ve ever read in a book. Her devotion to God is to be admired, when she could have so painlessly relented to the often easier choices in life. She is brave in that she goes forward to make her own life without the hope of support from others. We could all learn a thing or two from Jane about being content in our circumstances. And, there are so many wise and poignant quotes from this book. Simply put, I think this classic should be on everyone’s “To Be Read” list.