Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #118: Frostfire, by Amanda Hocking




This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!




Here's my choice for this week!




Frostfire
(The Kanin Chronicles #1)
Amanda Hocking
St. Martin's Griffin
January 6, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, 
Young Adult Fiction


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18105451-frostfire?ac=1





 
Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?




Why I'm waiting on this one!!

 Anything by Amanda Hocking is
bound to be terrific!
I can see that Bryn is not they type
of girl to let anything or 
anyone stand in her way, so
it looks like she'll be doing quite a
bit of butt-kicking!
I also like the mention of the
word 'changelings', because that means
the fae are involved!
I think this is a book all fantasy
lovers (like me!) will enjoy! 
 




What do you think of my 
choice this week?
Leave me your links in 
the comments,
so I can go check out yours!!





HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!





Monday, November 24, 2014

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge!!




Welcome to The 2014 Christmas
Spirit Reading Challenge,
hosted by Michelle, @



Every year at this time, Michelle hosts 
this wonderful reading challenge,
which gives every Christmas addict
(and I count myself among those)
an opportunity to indulge in
the pleasant pastime of reading
Christmas books exclusively during
this beautiful, joyful, and sacred season!
This is the fifth year of the challenge,
and I sure hope there will be
many more to come!

Here are the rules:
1.) The challenge will run from Monday,
Nov. 24, 2014, through
Sunday, January 6, 2015.
(This is Twelfth Night, or Epiphany.)
2.) Crossover with other challenges
is totally permitted AND
encouraged!
3.) These must be Christmas novels,
books about Christmas lore,
books of Christmas short stories or poems,
books about Christmas crafts,
and, there's a children's 
Christmas books level, too!

Here are the levels:
1.) Candy cane: read 1 book
2.) Mistletoe: read 2 - 4 books
3.) Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books
(This is the fanatic level....LOL.)

Additional Levels:
Fa La La La Films: watch a bunch of or a few
Christmas movies....it's up to you!
Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with
your children this season, and share
what you read.



Note
The additional levels are optional.
You must still complete one
of the main reading levels above.



Michelle has already posted 
a review Linky as a page on her blog today.
You will find it at the top
of the right sidebar on her blog.
She will also be doing a giveaway!
Please visit her blog for more details,
as well as to add your blog's name
and URL to the signup Linky!!



Mistletoe Level

These are the books I will attempt
to read this year:





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20696021-christmas-brides?ac=1







https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821519-tis-the-season?ac=1







I'd like to encourage you all to join this
great reading challenge!
It's certainly a great holiday tradition
for me by now,
and I'm hoping it will become one
for you guys, too!!
And last but definitely not least.....


Happy Thanksgiving!!





The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along: Week 10, Book Review




Welcome to the tenth & last week of
The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along,
brought to you
by the blogs
A Night's Dream of Books
&


This is the week where all participants put up their reviews of this immortal classic! The reviews were originally scheduled for November 21st, but we had to reschedule at the last minute because real life intervened.....

It's been a fascinating time for those of us who have been analyzing and discussing various facets of this novel, which opens new vistas every time a reader dives into it. I'd like to thank, first of all, my co-host, Brian @ Babbling Books, for a GREAT collaboration, with hopes of many more to come!! His insights, hard work, and comments throughout the read-along  have helped me to appreciate this novel much more than I already did! I'd also like to especially thank Jim @ The Frugal Chariot for all of his insights and comments! And then, thanks to the rest of you -- those who have actively participated, and those who have commented on the read-along posts -- for your thoughts on this great classic, which have also enriched my understanding of it!

Stay tuned for more classics read-a-longs in the future! 





Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë
Hardcover, 656 pages
Everyman's Library
(Everyman Edition, Reprint)
February 8, 2011
(first published 1847)
Classics, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction, Romance


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/168016.Jane_Eyre








Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr. Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr. Rochester's past are revealed.

Charlotte Brontë’s novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has, ever since its publication in 1847, enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving affirmation of the prerogatives of the heart in the face of disappointment and misfortune.

Jane Eyre has enjoyed huge popularity since first publication, and its success owes much to its exceptional emotional power.









When I first read this great novel, I was about 17, and it was part of a high school English Literature assignment. The story of Jane, a poor orphan at the mercy of her cruel aunt and cousins -- especially John Reed -- immediately captivated me. I got totally immersed in the novel, and I couldn't stop thinking about it even after I had finished it.

Little Jane Eyre eventually became an accomplished teacher, securing a position as governess to the protege of a very wealthy man -- Edward Fairfax Rochester. As the events unfolded, I felt myself being swept up in them, right along with Jane. When she first met Mr. Rochester, and subsequent pages revealed more about him, I fell in love with him just as hard as Jane eventually did.

Their love story was, and is, a beautiful one, especially because they are so  perfectly matched, in spite of their disparate social stations. Rochester is a man of potent masculine energy, although that energy can be overly dominating at times. Jane, however, is not intimidated by this, as she has quite a strong will of her own. The two of them are also intellectually sharp, and equally passionate. This is quite evident at two points in the novel: in Jane's vehemently emotional declaration to Rochester in the orchard of Thornfield Hall, and in Rochester's pained request that Jane not leave him, precisely as she is about to.

My adolescent mind and heart thrilled to all this emotion, all this romantic passion laced with mystery and desperate longing.... Everything about the story totally mesmerized me. This was my first Gothic novel, and I was inevitably pulled in by the air of secrecy and gloom pervading Thornfield Hall.... As the mystery deepened, I felt my attraction for Mr. Rochester grow; I perceived he carried a terrible burden of some type, and, like Jane, I wished to alleviate his emotional pain...

Having just read this novel for the second time, I have a more comprehensive view of it. I now see, more clearly than ever, just how much this novel centers around Jane herself. Much of it is about her growth as a person, her coming into her own, mature power. It's also about her great love for Mr. Rochester, however. In fact, there's a fascinating tension between the two themes of Jane finding her true self, and the pull of a love so wonderful, so all-encompassing, that it almost reaches religious fervor. 

Ironically, it is Rochester himself who is actually the catalyst for Jane's inner awakening. He is the one who unintentionally propels her into a quest for her true self. And what is this true self? It is her own Christian conscience, coupled with a sense of her own value as an independent person. 

In rejecting Rochester's unconventional proposal, Jane is not only being true to her ideals, but to herself as an autonomous being. The two things go together. As a Christian, she cannot possibly betray her firm moral standards; as a feminist, which she undoubtedly is, she cannot possibly betray her own independence and autonomy in becoming 'a kept woman'.

This is definitely a very complex novel, and thus, should be re-read many times, for each new reading leads to new revelations. This time around, I was surprised to find Rochester to be a much darker character than I had thought him to be during my first reading. I still loved him, but now I saw, more clearly, that his love for Jane was not a totally pure one. In fact, it struck me as bordering on obsession, and yet, it was not altogether selfish, either. After all, he never meant to hurt her; he merely wanted to give her everything her heart desired, to treat her as he felt she deserved to be treated -- as "a peeress of the realm". In the process, he also hoped she would redeem him from his previously depraved life.

Jane was quite right to resist him, not only because of his objectification of her, but also because each person has to find him/herself through an inner quest, and such a quest necessarily involves a higher power. One cannot expect to be 'saved' by another person. For Brontë, only the Christian God can do that. Jane herself repeatedly tells Mr. Rochester to turn to God for solace and comfort.

In spite of my new perspective on Rochester, I was just as caught up in all this as I was during my first reading. I wanted them to end up together just as badly, in spite of seeing the underlying deception, the horrible secret of Thornfield Hall. This is due to the author's great literary skill in crafting these immortal characters. They leap off the page, entering our imaginations with the forcefulness of real people.

The secondary characters are vividly drawn, as well, from the despotically cruel Mrs. Reed and her spoiled, equally cruel children, to the hypocritically self-righteous Mr. Brocklehurst, the gentle, saintly Helen Burns, the sprightly French girl, Adele, the cold, detached, stern St. John Rivers, and his sweet sisters, Diana and Mary. Then there are Bessie, the servant who most sympathized with little Jane, Mrs. Fairfax, the very sweet Miss Temple, and the enigmatic Grace Poole. All are equally memorable in the reader's mind, and all contribute richly to the plot.

There's symbolism everywhere, as well, from the curtains and drapes at Gateshead Hall, with their hints of sanctuary and even entombment, to the old chestnut tree, which presages the lovers' separation, to Jane's eerily predictive nightmares... The Romantic movement was obviously a huge influence on the author, as even the weather in the novel, as well as the vegetation -- or lack thereof -- are bearers of hidden meanings and portents.

The novel has been criticized for certain coincidental events in the plot, but I would say that, in its overall structure, Jane Eyre is very well conceived and carried out. It is masterfully written, in prose that soars and sweeps through field and moor, enchanting the reader with its sonorous cadences. Having said that, I know I need to listen to one of the several audio versions, for this is a novel meant to be read aloud. I would especially like to listen to Mr. Rochester's initial conversations with Jane; they show the reader his rapier wit and keen intelligence, as well as his magnetic personality. Jane's responses, too, tell us much about her personality, as she skillfully spars with him, giving no quarter.

Along with its predominant theme of the pull of love vs. the search for one's true self is the equally important theme of class prejudice. I was delighted to see that Rochester did not approve of this particular vice; he never for a moment considered Jane as being 'beneath' his station, something which a lesser man might have. In contrast to those of his immediate social circle, he had nothing but admiration for Jane. He plainly saw the very sharp contrast between Jane and Blanche Ingram, the solid integrity of the one, and the social superficiality of the other. That Blanche belonged to 'the upper class' meant nothing to him; he rightly saw Jane as much superior.

These gripping, fundamental themes give this novel its enduring power and stature in the minds of its readers, thus making the reading of it a totally unforgettable experience! Thus, we have many, many editions of it in the English language alone, as well as many more in other languages. 

In spite of the bittersweet ending -- in my opinion, Brontë was a bit overzealous in achieving Rochester's eventual redemption -- I am happy that, after the storm had passed, she resolved everything to my romantic heart's content! Jane Eyre has always been and will always be my favorite classic of all time, and I know there will be more re-readings for me in the future!


MY RATING:      



   



 


(from Goodreads)

 Charlotte Brontë was a British novelist, the eldest out of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature. See also Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë.

Charlotte Brontë was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the third of six children, to Patrick Brontë (formerly "Patrick Brunty"), an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell.

(from Wikipedia)

 She published her best known novel, Jane Eyre, under the pen name Currer Bell.

 Charlotte's first manuscript, The Professor, did not secure a publisher, although she was heartened by an encouraging response from Smith, Elder & Co. of Cornhill, who expressed an interest in any longer works Currer Bell might wish to send.   Charlotte responded by finishing and sending a second manuscript in August, 1847. Six weeks later Jane Eyre: An Autobiography was published. It tells the story of a plain governess, Jane, who, after difficulties in her early life, falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester.

Other Fiction Works

The Foundling: A Tale of Our Own Times, by Captain Tree, 1830
The Green Dwarf: A Tale of the
Perfect Tense, 1830
Shirley, 1849
Villette, 1853
The Professor, 1857 
(posthumously)
Emma, 1860
(unfinished, pub. posthumously)

 Poetry

Poems, by Currer, Ellis, and
Acton Bell, 1846





Online Links






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review: Proof of Angels, by Mary Curran Hackett



Proof of Angels
Mary Curran Hackett
Trade Paperback,  320 pages
William Morrow Paperbacks
November 3, 2014
Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, 
Romance, Spirituality


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20530946-proof-of-angels?ac=1




From the critically acclaimed author of Proof of Heaven comes an unforgettable novel about hope, renewal, and the gift of angels among us—friends, family, lovers . . . and even mystical others—sure to touch your heart

Sean Magee is a firefighter—a hero who risks his own life to save others, running into dangerous situations few have the courage to dare. While fighting a horrific blaze, Sean becomes trapped by flames and is nearly overcome by smoke. Just when it seems that all is lost, he’s led to a window—by what he swears is divine intervention. And then he
 jumps . . .

. . . into a new life. For years, Sean has shut down his feelings, existing in a state of emotional numbness. Coming through that fire, he knows that he can no longer be that man whose his heart is closed to the world. But before he can face his future, he must confront his past and everyone in it: the family, the friends, the woman—and the love—he carelessly left behind.





Note
My thanks to the author and TLC Book Tours
for a complimentary copy of
the book, in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions here expressed 
are my own.


When I finished this wonderful, uplifting novel, I did something I only do with some very, very special books: I hugged it to my chest, overwhelmed with happiness. That might elicit some eye rolling, but that's how I honestly felt. This book touched me very deep inside, and I love it when an author is able to do that. It  takes some remarkable literary skill to elicit this kind of response from a reader.

Now I desperately want to see the movie, because Proof of Angels certainly has a very cinematic feel to it. The plot slowly develops over the course of a year, and in  that period of time, the reader feels as if an entire lifetime has been lived.

This is such a beautifully written, character-driven novel! I know and love them all, but especially Sean Magee, the central character. Unfortunately, he doesn't think he's anything special, and has been running away from himself for a long time. It's only after the fire that almost takes his life that he begins to discover the wealth of feeling inside himself. It's only then, when he sees the light that leads him to a window, that he finally admits to himself what a mistake he made in leaving Chiara, the love of his life. Right then and there, he  promises to find her, to tell her how much he loves her.

The supporting cast -- for that is the way I think of them -- are just as wonderful as Sean. There's James, his fellow firefighter with the big heart, and preference for Thai food, Libby, the special dog trainer, who finds love in the midst of her own recovery from drug use,  and Tom, the slightly cynical physical trainer Sean's brother-in-law, a prominent cardiologist, hires for him.

Hackett does a great job of immersing the reader in the everyday lives of all her characters. James had been Sean's friend for a long time, but Libby and Tom come into his life because of the accident. The four of them develop a very special friendship, becoming more like family than friends. Hackett explores their inner worlds with sensitivity and detailed empathy. There are no major 'action scenes', as this is not that type of novel; instead, this is a loving, detailed examination of each character, of how their unique life circumstances have made them who they are. In the process, they learn to give support to each other. As Sean receives physical as well as emotional support from his friends, they in turn receive emotional support from him. All four friends give each other lessons of the heart.

The title of this novel doesn't refer exclusively to the winged,  supernatural variety of angel, as I had originally thought, but to earth angels, as well. Certainly Sean has been lucky enough to have three of them, while they, in turn, have also been lucky to have him as their own earth angel. Thus, the novel points to the various ways in which each one of us can be an angel in someone else's life.

Another great character -- and the fourth angel -- is Chief, the special dog Libby has trained to help Sean during his recovery process. Through his devotion to Sean, Chief becomes very special to the reader, as well. He's actually based on a real dog of the same name, owned by the author.

As the novel develops, Sean never loses sight of his goal. His whole reason for recuperating from his injuries is to travel to Italy so as to make amends to Chiara. Every small victory in his physical therapy brings him that much closer to the goal. Incurable romantic that I am, I cheered him on all the way!

The part of the book where Chiara appears is a pure delight. Hackett takes her readers to Florence, Italy, and the subtle allusion to "Romeo and Juliet" was not lost on me. The city is breathtakingly beautiful, with all of its historically important buildings, its light.....Here's a specially compelling passage describing Sean's reaction as he enters the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, for the second time in his life: "The vast open space filled with light and people made him feel that he was intimately connected to the divine architect, and all the men who'd made it, too, who worked for centuries to build the structure. It took thousands of men and women to build the structure, brick by brick, and none of them knew the lives they'd touch. Invisible to him now, the spirits of those people reached out and touched Sean as he walked. He just knew it."

I'm sure everyone knows by now what happens in Florence, and here's where I do have a minor complaint; the reunion between Chiara and Sean feels a bit too rushed. I would have wanted this part of the novel to last longer, as the two lovers get reacquainted with each other. They had been apart for eleven years, after all. But the novel's enchantment is to be found not only in its climax, but in the journey leading up to it. On the way to Italy, we have encountered some very special people who are angels to each other, who help each other to slay their private dragons because these have become their own dragons, too. 

This is a novel not only of love, hope, and redemption, but of light, as well -- inner as  well as outer light, and each reinforces the other.

To say that this novel has already become unforgettable to me is to affirm its transcendent beauty. Indeed, it is to affirm that there really are angels -- and they are where we least expect to find them.



MY RATING


 






Mary Curran Hackett is the mother of two children and is married to Greg Hackett. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Nebraska and a BA from the University Honors Program at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Danbury, CT, she has traveled extensively and lived in various places throughout the U.S., but her favorite place in the world is home with her kids, husband, and her stacks of books.

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter




For the complete tour schedule,
just click on the button below!

http://tlcbooktours.com/2014/11/mary-curran-hackett-author-of-proof-of-angels-on-tour-november-2014/




Monday, November 17, 2014

The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along: Week 9, Chapters 34 - 38




Welcome to the ninth week of 
the 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along,
brought to you by
A Night's Dream of Books
and






Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte
(Norton Critical Edition) 
Trade Paperback, 385 pages
W.W. Norton & Company
December 13, 2000
Classics, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction, Mystery, Romance


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10598750-jane-eyre



Week 9 Discussion Questions:
Chapters 34 -38
(Questions provided by
Babbling Books)


******

1.) The marriage that St. John Rivers proposes to Jane would be unconventional from an emotional point of view. What do you think about this hypothetical match?

I honestly find it incredible that Rivers would propose such a match to Jane. It tells me that he has twisted the  message of the Bible, for the Song of Solomon, in the Old Testament, is very sensuous, and speaks highly of conjugal love. Besides, there's a verse somewhere about a man and his wife becoming "one flesh". (I don't recall the exact verse.) How could Jane, or indeed any sane woman, possibly become "one flesh" with a man as stern and cold as Rivers?

I think Rivers is interpreting the Bible in a very negative, life-denying way. This is evident from the sermon Jane heard him preach on one occasion. She did not feel comforted or full of enthusiasm by his words.

Rivers's marriage proposal is cold and detached. He does not love Jane. Besides, even though she's a strong personality, he would eventually have worn  her down with his constant striving to do more and more to evangelize the people in India. In short, he's only thinking of his own plans and goals, and has absolutely no consideration for her. In fact, he's not even acting like a Christian. Instead, he's trying to bend her to his will.   

2.) In what ways are St. John Rivers and Rochester alike? 

Oh, this is a great question! They are different in certain ways, but in two very important ways they are completely alike: they both have very dominating, strong personalities. Also, both of them try --  very hard -- to get Jane to do what they each want her to do. The fact that Rochester's proposal is immoral, while Rivers's is within the tenets of Christianity, is totally irrelevant here. They both try to bend Jane to their will, without taking into account her own wishes in each situation. They are both selfish in their unreasonable requests. Jane could no more enter into a loveless marriage, than she could accept the degradation of becoming a man's mistress.

3.) Is it surprising that someone with the strength of character that Jane possesses would be so influenced by St. John Rivers as to almost accede to his marriage proposal?

To a degree, yes, it is surprising. On the other hand, Jane did believe that Rivers was sincere in his goal, and, as a Christian, she did think it was a worthwhile one. What she didn't agree with was Rivers's stern attitude of self-denial.  She certainly didn't want to live his brand of Christianity. 

In spite of all this, she almost accepted his proposal because she had a very pessimistic attitude regarding the possibility of ever being reunited with Rochester. She had resigned herself to living without him. Therefore, she probably reasoned that she might as well join Rivers in  a cause she saw as noble and good, even though it was one that would have had terrible physical and emotional effects on her. 

4.) What do you think of the seemingly psychic connection that manifests itself between Jane and Rochester at a critical moment in the plot?

When I first read this part of the novel, years ago, I got goosebumps, and, of course, loved this incident! This is very much a part of the Romantic aesthetic, as well as being romantic with a lower-case "r". I believe that there are indeed psychic connections between people, especially people who passionately love each other. This is a mysterious part of life. I do think it's entirely possible for something like this to happen.

Bronte's use of this incident is melodramatic, but yet, deliciously so! Also, it has the desired effect, breaking the spell that Rivers had woven over Jane. That voice spoke directly to Jane's heart and soul. Only Rochester's voice could have affected her so deeply.

I was thrilled all over again, the second time around! 

5.) What do you think would have happened if, upon her return to Rochester, Jane had found Rochester's first wife, Bertha, to be still alive?

This is very interesting speculation! It all depends on Rochester's attitude after the fire. He was seriously injured, after all. Perhaps he would not have insisted again that Jane become his mistress, but I'm sure he would have asked her to be his nurse. She would probably have refused even that, though. 

Since she is now an heiress, I believe Jane would simply have gone off on her own, refusing to fall into Rivers's arms as an alternative. Since she is not the type of person to "sit back and take it easy" just because she's now rich, I think  she would have opened her own school for orphans, and even become one of its teachers. She would most likely have taken in Adele as one of her first pupils. 

I don't think she would have cut off Rochester completely. She would have visited him from time to time, but would always have made sure that she was never left alone with him. For this purpose, I think she would have taken one of her cousins with her. Of course, she would never have accepted his extended hospitality. Instead of staying for any length of time at Ferndean, she would have left for the nearest hotel as soon as night began to fall.

I also think she would have offered to pay for some of Bertha's expenses, going as far as to get  the poor woman the best medical care, but never sending her off to a mental hospital. Such hospitals had a terrible reputation at the time. Rochester would have refused, naturally, but only at first. Jane would have told him that Bertha was not being properly cared for, which was indeed true; Grace Poole was not an effective "nurse" or caretaker. In his transformed condition, Rochester would finally have agreed.

There's no telling how long Bertha would have survived -- perhaps years, with the proper care. Jane would have remained firm in her conviction to have no sexual relationship with Rochester until after Bertha's death. Both of them would have suffered greatly with this situation, no doubt about it. There's a slight possibility that, with the passage of time, Jane would have finally given in. Knowing her personality, though, something absolutely terrible would have to happen for her to finally accept Rochester's proposition. That something might very well be his suddenly becoming seriously ill, and in  danger of death. I can see her giving in if she were faced with the prospect of never seeing him again looming before her.   

6.) By the end of the novel, how has Rochester changed?

His serious injuries have totally transformed him. He has now seen and accepted that he has lived a very immoral life, for, while married to Bertha, he had three mistresses. Furthermore, he now understands that he wanted to override Jane's very firm moral principles, in spite of her opposition. He is, therefore, a much more humble man, one willing to accept that he has transgressed against God and society. 

He still loves Jane madly, and wishes nothing more than to be with her  as her husband. It's very touching, the way he now accepts her help  without complaint, whereas, when he  fell off his horse, at his first meeting with Jane, he was actually upset that he needed the help of  "a mere slip of a girl".

Rochester is also a much gentler man. Upon being reunited with her, he develops a very mellow appreciation for the beauties of nature, and becomes much more optimistic. Under her tender care, he becomes very content indeed.

I do miss the old, fiery Rochester, although I don't like the way he deceived Jane, as well as his other transgressions. The comparison between him and an eagle is a very apt one. Who would not feel sad to see a mighty eagle, once king of the skies, humbled to the level of a tiny sparrow?  
 
Since this is the last set of questions for the Jane Eyre Read-Along, we have included an extra, "wrap-up" question at the end. Feel free to answer it or not.

7.) How satisfied are you with the ending of this novel?

When I first read this novel years ago, I was, naturally, ecstatic that Jane and Rochester had reunited, and then lived "happily ever after". However, I was shocked at the injuries Rochester received in the fire at Thornfield Hall. I tried to overlook that at the time. During this second reading, however, I have had to deal with it, and it really bothers me. 

I have come to the conclusion that Bronte went too far in subjecting Rochester to such traumatizing injuries. I could have accepted that he was unable to walk for a year, or something to that effect. But his injuries are horrible. It doesn't matter that he later recovers sight in one eye. 

I don't think it was at all necessary for Bronte to have her character suffer like this. That he had to be injured in some way, in order for him to undergo a transformation, is understandable, but what she did to him..... I think it was very cruel of her. 

Misogynistic men can very well point at this aspect of the novel, and accuse Bronte of trying to emasculate her once proud, Byronic hero. She should have anticipated such a reaction, and not left herself open to this type of criticism, in my honest opinion. 

Even Jane herself tells Rochester that she "likes him better now", when he has to depend on her, than previously, when he was proud and trying to impose his will on her. It seems as if Bronte is saying that a woman in her time could only have a relationship with a man if he was incapacitated in some way, and therefore, needed her. 

I like everything in moderation. Politically, I am a centrist. Therefore, I neither like men to be dominant over women, or women  to be dominant over men. So, although I still love Rochester as a character, this is a "tamed" version of him. In other words, before Jane left Thornfield Hall, the power balance was in Rochester's favor. After she returns to him, it's in her favor. That should not be; there should be a perfect balance of power between the two of them. 

I am indeed happy that they finally wound up together, and were able to marry. Being a romantic at heart, of course this turn of events totally delights me! I just think  that this ending is a bittersweet one, and I am firmly convinced that it was totally unnecessary.  


    



NOTE

Since this is the last week of
this read-along, there
will be no more discussion questions.
All participants will post
their reviews this Thursday, 11/21.
A Night's Dream of Books
&
Babbling Books
both thank the blogs that
have participated in this event!!

*******

LAST MINUTE SCHEDULING CHANGE
The last post of the read-along
will be on Monday, Nov. 24th,
instead of Friday, Nov. 21st.

*******



Post & Reading Schedule

Announcement/Signup Post
Sept. 9th
A Night's Dream of Books
Babbling Books


Week 1: Sept. 22nd

Reading: Chapters 1 - 5
Thoughts on Reading Jane Eyre 
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books


Week 2: Sept. 29th

Reading: Chapters 6 -10
Discussion Questions: Chapters 1 - 5
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books


Week 3: Oct. 6th

Reading: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions: Chapters 6 - 10
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books


Week 4: Oct. 13th

Reading: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books


Week 5: Oct. 20th

Reading: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books


Week 6: Oct. 27th

Reading: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Questions: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books


Week 7: Nov. 3rd

Reading: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Question for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books


Week 8: Nov. 10th

Reading: Chapters 34 - 38
Discussion Questions: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books


Week 9: Nov. 17th

Discussion Questions, Chapters 34 - 38
Babbling Books


Week 10: Nov. 24th
(changed from Nov. 21st) 

Book Reviews Posted