This book will always have a little place in my heart. I love how it is written in a femenine voice with intrigue and mystery behind it. There comes a moment when you are horrified at the choice set before the heroine and you know that she must do what is right no matter how difficult. For me, it felt like it epitomized the fight between our human nature and that journey towards perfection in Christ we Christians live for. I loved how the hero knows “how great her sin and misery” are, and is yet confident in who she is. She will not waver. Though she knows she is a sinful being, she does not make excuses for herself or others, and she expects nothing less than perfection and purity from all, and mostly herself. You don’t get that from modern writing; the world would be utterly stumped at what I am saying. No one expects perfection anymore. It's just "Do your best, it's all you can do," but I believe that lowers the standards, and it is not all we can do. We can do more with Christ!
Despite how dire and helpless Jane's life is described as, or how depressing you might think it, Jane still finds comfort in her lowliness. Jane understands that her "only comfort in life and death [is] to my faithful Saviour… who has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood and set me free from the tyranny of the devil.” How sweet those words are! It was refreshing to read a novel whose heroine understands higher things, whose outlook is not bogged down by petty worldly concerns but a greater concern that will affect our future now and forever. It was a good break from my usual reads, and I really enjoyed it.
As for Mr. Rochester, I do not think that I could ever understand why on earth she fell for him and what for. Although I loved the book, I loathed him from day one, and. You'll just have to forgive me for that!
My only criticism is that it is a bit long-winded, but I suppose that that is to be expected. ; )
*Note that I did attempt to read something by Jane Austen after this, thinking getting "into the mode" would help, but alas, it did not. I could not even finish the first chapter of Northanger Abbey. I went back to sci-fi after that for just a little while.