This evening, I went to my readers’ group and we discussed which Bronte is better: Charlotte or Emily for their respective novels, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. We had decided at our lat meeting to read the novel either we hadn’t read (and a surprising number of us had only read one) or hadn’t read in a while.
Since I had read Jane Eyre a few years ago and remember really enjoying it, but had not read Wuthering Heights, I started my reading journey by reading Emily. Wuthering Heights is a weird, gothic, dark, interesting novel. Did I love it? Not so much. Did I respect it? Very much so.
Then I reread Jane Eyre. Oh, how I LOVE Jane Eyre. I couldn’t put the book down and even though I knew how it ended, I still cried at the end.
I was prepared to fight that Jane Eyre was much better, but, collectively as a group, we all agreed (minus one member who still likes Wuthering Heights, though I think he kind of cheated by not reading Jane Eyre again, the book he is less familiar with) that Jane Eyre is by far the better novel. It just has everything great in it: feminism, gothic elements, class struggles, interesting and diverse characters, and a wonderful romance.
I’m thankful my Bronte won the battle tonight. I’m thankful Jane Eyre was written. I’m sure I’ll continue to read it over and over again, never tiring.