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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Audiobook Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Audiobook Cover Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Abridged, 6 hr.
Penguin Audio
Joanna David (narrator)
June 16, 2005
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Genre: Classic

Source: Personal Collection

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

I chose to read this book for a couple of reasons. First, I am currently working on a book challenge: The Four Month Challenge and one of the stipulations were to read a classic. So I sat there for awhile before I decided what classic to read. I had never read this book before, but I had heard a lot of people talking about it and figured it was probably something I should read. Coming into this, I had no idea what to expect from this book, I hadn’t read a classic in awhile and I didn’t know what it was about. I chose to have this in audio book because I have a long drive to and from work and it would not interrupt my normal reading schedule.

I really, really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed it in a different way than I have enjoyed other books I have reviewed recently. This story begins with a young Jane Eyre living with the family of an aunt who really doesn’t treat her like family. She is eventually sent away to a boarding school and then takes up the role of governess for a Mr. Rochester. This is when the story really starts to pick up. There is romance, secret desire, heartbreak, a little bit of a mystery, sadness, and then a happy ending…which we all enjoy. There were times when I cried and times when I yelled at Jane for making a dumb decision – such as leaving her post of governess.

There really were only two main characters in this story: Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. I really went back and forth in my opinion of the character of Mr. Rochester. Sometimes I thought he was clearly crazy. Things that he said did not make sense sometimes, but it truly could have been me not hearing right in the car. I felt for Jane from day one: she was treated poorly by people who were her family, was sent from home, and was angst ridden from her secret desire for love. As I said before, there were times I was mad at her choices, but overall she was a very likeable character.

I would definitely read another classic book after reading this one; well, actually I would probably do an audio book so I can still read another book. It actually made me interested in this genre again without feeling like I was reading for school.


This being an audio book I think that the choice of narrator is very important as to how enjoyable the experience is. I have heard some awful narrators and it can really ruin the story. The narrator for the version I listened to was Joanna David and she was a phenomenal narrator. First of all she was British, which was very appropriate because the book was set in England and made it more believable and felt like Jane was actually narrating her story. She was also very amazing at evoking the emotions of the characters. It really felt like I was listening to a play and helped me enjoy my ride.

You can preview a sampling of the audiobook below:

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I glad you liked! The English accent is tremendous too. I didn't start reading classics until I was out of school for a while either. Some are good, some are bad. I just stop reading the bad ones. no need to finish becuase it's a classic. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I really enjoy your blog -- I have an award for you at A Sea Of Books ;)

  3. I'm glad you liked this one. I'm going to be rereading it for the Classics Challenge but I bet I'd enjoy it on audio as well.


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