Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are living, breathing creations that I can relate to and imagine having a conversation over coffee with them. I started reading her books five or six years ago with Good in Bed and I eagerly await each new novel.

Fly Away Home is a novel that sounds like it is ripped from headlines. Sylvie Serfer Woodruff has changed herself over the years into the perfect politician’s wife. Her husband, Richard Woodruff, is a high powered senator from New York with dreams of being the president. They have two daughters, Diana and Lizzie. Diana is a doctor with a seemingly perfect life with her husband and son, if you don’t count that fact that she doesn’t love her husband. Lizzie is a troubled twenty-four year old recovering addict who is trying to find her way in the world.

All of their worlds are changed forever when it is discovered that Richard had an affair with a young staffer and helped her to get a job. Without Richard to take care of, Sylvie realizes that she has not been taking care of herself. Diana realizes that she is more like her father than she thinks . . . as she is having a torrid affair with a young intern. Lizzie finds purpose in life by taking care of Diana’s son Milo and then her father Richard, who is lost without Sylvie. The book explores what it is like to be the woman who stands behind the man confessing his extramarital affairs at the podium.

I wasn’t sure at first that I would like this book, as I have politician scandal fatigue, but I loved the focus and character development of the three women. The story wasn’t really about the scandal per say, but about how these women discovered or rediscovered themselves and were able to move on from their experiences.

I did have a hard time connecting with Diana. I understood her drive for perfection, but to marry someone you don’t love or feel attraction for just to be married is something I really don’t understand or have sympathy for. I like how she also had to hit rock bottom to start to understand herself again.

Sylvie reminded me a lot of my grandmother who was very focused on my grandfather and not on raising her child. This caused problems for poor Lizzie in the novel as well as Sylvie when Richard was suddenly out of the picture. Lizzie had a variety of problems, and I loved her growth to a mature young woman throughout the book and her ability to put the problems behind her.

I also loved reading Sylvie’s back story on how she and Richard got together in the first place and how their marriage evolved to the point it was at. I just wish the book could have continued on, I wanted to continue the journey with these characters!

While the story was serious, Weiner’s trademark humor was every apparent and you can see below in my favorite quotes:

When Sylvie’s mother Selma is talking about her sex life with her father, Sylvie thinks, “Somewhere in the world, there was surely a conversation taking place that she’d less enjoy hearing. Trouble was, she couldn’t imagine what that conversation might be.”

Later in that same conversation Selma says, “I just wanted you to know that you never know what’s going on in someone else’s marriage, behind someone else’s bedroom door. Nobody’s perfect.”

I laughed out loud at this quote, “If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it, her nutritionist had said. Well, too bad, nutritionist, because Selma’s grandma would have recognized Crisco just fine.”

Overall this was a great character study and a hard book to put down. It tackled serious issues, but was relatable and had plenty of humor. I highly recommend it.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a beautifully written novel about a woman’s realization that she needs the physical part of her marriage as well as the spiritual and mental.

Constance (or Connie) Chatterley met and married her husband Clifford one month before he shipped over to Europe during WWI. During the war, Clifford was injured extensively causing him to be paralyzed waist down. After Clifford has healed, he and Constance move back to his country estate. There they work together on Clifford’s writings. They enjoy a good relationship, but Constance soon finds herself tired by the physical demands of caring for Clifford, and finds herself yearning for a child. Clifford tells Constance that he would also like a child and that he would be okay with Constance having another man’s child as long as she remained in love with him.

Almost against her will, Constance finds herself having a love affair with the gamekeeper, Mellors, at the Chatterley estate. She almost seems to dislike him as a person at first, but cannot help but being drawn to him physically. Interestingly, the problem that most people have against Mellors is his social class. He is from the working class, although he became a lieutenant while serving in the military in India and is a well read, well reasoned individual. Constance soon realizes that she loves Mellors, but they both have a spouse and are caught in an “impossible” situation. Mellors had joined the military to get away from his domineering wife, Bertha, but never divorced her. Constance has Clifford, a man who she finds herself drifting further away from every day. When Constance finds herself with child, will she stay on as Clifford’s wife and “Lady Chatterley” or will she leave it all to find love?

I really enjoyed this novel. Lady Chatterley’s Lover has a reputation as a “bad” and very sexual novel and I have always been curious to read it. It took the Classics Challenge for me to finally pull it off my shelf. Truthfully, compared to today’s racy romances, the language is no longer shocking or as detailed in the novel. It is shocking though thinking about a book with such frank scenes of sex being published in 1928. I think even more shocking and still unique to even today’s novels; the novel discusses a woman’s need for sexual satisfaction in detail. It was actually rather refreshing to read this as it was a unique and modern prospective even in today’s standards.

Besides being a “racy” novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover also dealt a lot with class issues. Clifford takes a great interest in the coal mines on his estate and tries to get them to be run more efficiently. It was interesting how Clifford, his friends, and even Connie’s own sister Hilda, view everyone not in their social class as inferior beings. They are disgusted by the fact that Connie could be having relations with such a person although Mellors is an educated man. I also thought it was interesting that Clifford, the model for the aristocracy is a crippled man, while Mellors, the model for the working class individual is a strapping, educated fine figure of a man. I think that this novel is a case for why the aristocracy is a strange and wrong situation. To determine one’s worth in society based on the fact that one’s ancestors made a lot of many and may have somehow obtained a title, does not mean that you are a better individual than your gamekeeper.

Overall, I loved the lyrical pose, the overall storyline, and class discussion in Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Although in the past I have found myself usually disliking books of adultery (Madame Bovary and The Awakening to name two), I found myself drawn and understanding Connie’s predicament. I highly recommend this novel.

This is my second book for the 2010 Classics Challenge.

Book Source: I have an old used hardcover copy that I purchased either at a used book sale, antique store, or garage sale.

Lean Mean Thirteen, Fearless Fourteen, and Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

I love the Stephanie Plum series with its fantastic characters, great love triangle, riveting mysteries, and laugh out loud moments. Whenever I need to pick up a book to relax too and give me a good laugh, I can’t go wrong with one of Evanovich’s Plum series. While I was down and out with morning sickness back in April and May, I caught up on the series (except for the between the novels books).

In Lean Mean Thirteen, Stephanie helps out Ranger by planting a bug on her slimy ex-husband, Dickie Orr. Dickie ends up missing shortly thereafter and Stephanie is a prime suspect. Dickie’s mysterious law partners all start looking for Dickie and unfortunately Stephanie. Stephanie also has found out that Dickie has reunited with her nemesis, Joyce Barnhart. My favorite laugh out loud moments of this book pertained to Stephanie’s take down of a skip and his problems with the cable company.

Life gets a bit crazy for Stephanie in Fearless Fourteen. She is hired by Ranger to help watching aging singer Brenda who is performing in Trenton. And as if she doesn’t have enough on her hands, she is taking care of a teenager named Zook whose mother has disappeared. Rumor has it that Zook may be her boyfriend Morelli’s illegitimate child. Poor Morelli has people in and out of his house constantly looking for a missing bank robbery lout that is rumored to be buried somewhere on his property. Lula may or may not be engaged to Tank, much to his dismay.

Lula witnesses the beheading of celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle in Finger Lickin’ Fifteen. Lula decides to track down the killers by entering a BBQ contest, with the problem being that she doesn’t really know how to cook. Grandma Mazur decides to help out and they are off on an adventure. Stephanie helps Ranger solve a string of mysterious break-ins at Rangeman security properties.

I enjoyed all three of these novels, mostly because I love the humor and the colorful characters so much. Stephanie is definitely my favorite with her quirky, yet everywoman ways. Lula is a close second though. The former “ho” always has hilarious lines and I love her self-confidence. Grandma Mazur is a pretty crazy grandma, but also laugh out loud funny. I love both of Stephanie’s love interests, man-of-mystery Ranger and the bad boy turned good, Joe Morelli. My only complaint is that after fifteen novels, Stephanie still finds herself in a love triangle and unable to commit. I would really like it if she would finally make her choice and move on in life as this series continues.

I read these three books for the Stephanie Plum Reading Challenge and I am really looking forward to reading the next in the series Sizzling Sixteen. I also still need to catch up on the “between the novels” books.

The good news is I have now officially reviewed all of the books I read while I was down and out with morning sickness. The bad news is I still have a pile of ARCs that I need to read and review. Hopefully I will get caught up soon!

Book Source: All three novels were from the Kewaunee Public Library.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner was a quick and easy reading novella set in the Twilight universe. Bree Tanner made a brief, but memorable appearance in the novel Eclipse. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner tells of Bree’s life as a young newborn vampire in Seattle trying to survive among the irrational newborns in her coven. Bree and her love interest Diego are smarter than the rest of the newborns, but not smart enough to thwart their destiny as their leader Riley and Victoria lead them on a path of vengeance in the small town of Forks.

This novel is different than the other Twilight novels as it is not about “civilized” vampires, but more classic vampires who are out for death and destruction. Although the ending was inevitable, I rooted for Bree and wished she had a different destiny. The novel was also an interesting read after the Eclipse movie as it seems that many parts of the book were incorporated into the movie.

Overall, if you are a fan of the Twilight series, this is a must read book. I enjoyed it and was not disappointed.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library

New Moon and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

I read New Moon and Eclipse for the second time while I was sick back in April and May to gear myself up for the Eclipse movie. I enjoyed reading them again and noticing details I had either forgotten or not noticed on my first round of readings. Truthfully though, even though it was good to read them again, I didn’t get the thrill I got out of them when I read them for the first time and they were a new story to discover. In other words, it was enjoyable, but not the same as a book like Pride and Prejudice or Outlander that I can read over and over and over . . . Do you have certain books that you can read over again and always love and others that are okay the second time around, but not as good as the first time?
For more information on the novels, read my original review here.
Book Source: I purchased these books from at some point last year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eclipse (2010)

My FLICKS Book and Movie Club went together to see Eclipse last Wednesday evening. It is always fun getting together with the ladies and enjoying a movie, and we all had been looking forward to this movie for quite some time. Twilight was my book choice pick for the club last fall and I managed to get many of my friends addicted to the series.

I know there are a lot of “haters” out there of the books and the movies, but I am not one of them. I read books of all types as you can tell from this blog and the Twilight series was great escapism reading that I literally could not put down. While it is not a literary masterpiece such as Pride and Prejudice, I think there is room in this world for fun reading. While I enjoy many types of books, not too many keep me wrapped up in them the way the Twilight series did.

To me, the movies follow the same principle. At times the first two movies were good campy fun, but they are fun to watch. I enjoyed Eclipse and thought it was a better movie than the first two. I thought the screenplay, acting, and special effects all had enjoyed a boast as the movies have come along. I enjoyed Eclipse as I have the other two movies as it is really enjoyable to finally have a movie that is about romance and not just sex. It’s also nice to have the action without gross out violence. I thought I was the only one that has gotten tired of super violent sexed up movies, but I think the popularity of the Twilight movie series shows that many people feel the same way. Bring back the romance!

My favorite line of Eclipse was when Jacob entered the tent and said something along the lines of “I’m hotter than you” to Edward. It made me laugh out loud. I also LOVED the back stories of Jasper and Rosalie. I was sad the back stories got mostly cut out of the other two films and hope they are put back in Breaking Dawn.

My only complaint about Eclipse was that Bella really needed a jacket after the tent scene. She was almost frozen to death in the night, but yet the next day she wanders outside with no hat, mittens, or coat. While that is okay for Edward and Jacob, it is not okay for Bella. I know it isn’t as romantic to have her kissing Jacob all bundled up, but it would be more realistic!

As I posted on Facebook, I realized after this movie at the grand old age of 32 I might be getting old as I decided I am “Team Charlie.” Charlie is funny and not bad looking. I especially liked his attempt to have “the talk” with Bella in Eclipse.

I am looking forward to Breaking Dawn, although I am not looking forward to seeing “the birthing scene” on the big screen. I’m also not thrilled about it being broken into two movies. The first one will just probably include the marriage, honeymoon, and baby birth with the large action scene at the end being movie two. I think it could have easily been one movie like the previous movies and think it’s just a way for the movie makers to make some extra cash . . . which they will out of me as I will be there! I’m only sad that Breaking Dawn Part 1 won’t be out until November 2011.

The Blind Side (2009)

My family and I finally watched The Blind Side. Now that I have two kids with a third on the way, my husband and I are finding it more difficult to sit down and watch adult movies. I think we would have more luck if all movies were on our DVR. Luckily although this movie was rated PG-13, we watched it with my 4 and 2 year old sons. They were mostly interested in the football scenes and then went back to playing when non-action scenes were on the screen. There was a brief scene of violence and some foul language in the movie that was inappropriate for the boys, but they were not football related and unwatched.

We all enjoyed The Blind Side. It is so nice to watch a positive movie about how one family can make a big difference in another person’s life. It was an inspiring movie that I confess brought a few tears to my eye thinking about the sad life that Michael Oher had growing up and knowing there are many other kids out there like him. It is wonderful that Michael got the chance to have a loving family that would help him to make his dreams come true. The Touhy family was also a great family to take the time to care about someone and to ask the questions about the strange new kid in school. It is great that they are able to use their wealth to make the world a better place. So often these days it seems that people don’t take the time to care about their fellow human beings, especially if they are different in terms of color or economics.

I loved Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Touhy and can definitely see why she won the academy award. I think the secret scene stealer for me was M.J. (hopefully I have his name right!), the Touhy’s young son. He was a great kid who went out there and tried to befriend Michael from the start.

My favorite line in the movie was from Leigh Anne Touhy to some thugs from Michael’s old life, “"I'm in a Bible study with the D.A., and I'm a card-carrying member of the NRA and I’m always packing.” Or something along those lines. It really took courage for her to face up to them like that!

Overall, this was a great movie about family and caring for others. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. At the end, 4-year old Kile wanted to watch it again and my husband also really liked it.

Movie Source: The Kewaunee Public Library

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farm Fatale by Wendy Holden

Rosie is an illustrator in London who dreams of moving to the country with her boyfriend Mark. When her boyfriend finally receives a new column about finding a new life in the country, Rosie is sure all of her dreams will come true. The hunt for a cottage is not exactly what they were expecting, but they eventually find a home in Eight Mile Bottom. Once in the village however, their lives don’t go exactly as planned.

Samantha is a not even D list (can there be an F list) actress with a rich husband named Guy. After Guy suffers a heart attack, the two buy “The Bottoms” in Eight Mile Bottom. Samantha looks forward to being a big fish in a little sea until she discovers a former Bond girl is a neighbor and a reclusive rock star also lives nearby. Samantha throws the party of the season and much adventure ensues.

Overall, this novel was okay, but I wasn’t drawn in as much as I could have been. I think the major problem was that half of the story was about Samantha and I really didn’t care for her character at all. Rosie’s story was also unexpected as her love life moves on from Mark in unexpected directions. Her eventual suitor is a very last minute addition and felt rushed. I also didn’t really like the name of the novel . . . Farm Fatale leads one to think that Rosie or Samantha will be a farmer or fall for one, but that is not the case. Rosie was an enjoyable character and I did like the funny antics of the novel. If you are looking for a quick, light read, this could be your book.

Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!

Bookends by Jane Green

I enjoy Jane Green’s brand of British Chick Lit. I’ve read previous Green books in the past, and picked up Bookends while I was laid up with super bad morning sickness last April.

Bookends is a story of friendship. Catherine Warner has great friends in Simon and the happily married Josh and Lucy. While Simon and Cath are both on the lookout for the perfect man, Josh and Lucy seem to have the perfect marriage until a long lost college friend, the beautiful Portia arrives back in their lives. Soon Cath suspects Josh may be having an affair with Portia. Cath has a new love interest in her life at the same time, James. Will the friends be able to all reconnect and find love in the process?

I enjoyed this book and the complicated web of friendship and love. And of course any book that mentions the Tartas is a good book to me!!

Book Source: I bought this at my hometown Dime Store in Michigan before it went out of business.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod Eagles

The Dark Rose is book two in the Morland Dynasty series. The War of the Roses and the family Matriarch, Eleanor, has passed away. The family is now living during Henry VIII’s tumultuous reign. Paul, the great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, is the new family patriarch. His niece, Nanette, grows up with the Katherine Parr and becomes one of Anne Boleyn’s maid-of-honors.

I loved Nanette’s story and her close relationships with Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr. In particular the end of Anne Boleyn’s reign and live was especially poignant. The only thing I didn’t like about Nanette’s story was her main love interest, which seemed too incestuous for me. I won’t say more to ruin the plot.

I grew to like Paul more as the book went on, but I had a hard time with him as a hero at the beginning o the book. He was actually rather boorish and cruel. I was sad to see how the cute children from book 1 ended up as such unhappily married adults. Luckily his character has major growth and becomes more sympathetic by the end of his life.

The overall book was great, but the beginning of the book moves rather slow. It tries to race through the history between books 1 and 2 a little too quickly. I think it might have been better to skip it or have to mention in passing after starting the main action of the novel. If you start this book and are bored by the beginning, keep on reading, it is worth it!

I am really enjoying the Morland Dynasty Saga and can’t wait to read more of it!

Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!

The Founding by Cynthia Harrod Eagles

The Founding is Book One in the Epic Moreland Dynasty Saga. I didn’t realize what a saga it was until I started reading the book and realized it currently spans 32 novels. It is the longest running historical family saga ever. I’ve always been a fan of historical family dramas; one of my favorite series is The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes.

The Founding is set during the War of the Roses in Yorkshire, England. Edward Morland is a wealthy “sheep farmer” and only has one son and heir left, the meek and mild Robert. He arranges a marriage between Robert and the aristocratic, but poor Eleanor Courteney. Eleanor has a secret love for Richard, the Duke of York, but Richard is already betrothed to his young cousin. While Robert may not be the man that Eleanor had hoped to marry, she has “spunk” and becomes the matriarch of the Morland family. Through her wisdom, the Morland family’s wealth grows, but they also find themselves in the middle of the War of the Roses and torn by conflicting loyalties.

I enjoyed this novel. I really enjoyed how while we learned about different family members, the overall story was Eleanor’s story. It was also a great way to show the War of the Roses through one family’s experience. The only thing I would add to the book would be another family tree showing the royal family. I am pretty familiar with this era in history, but even I got confused at times! The only historical “beef” I had with the novel was the open ended story of the Princes in the Tower. There was no good explanation for what happened to them.

Overall, a great historical fiction novel that portends for great things in the Morland Dynasty series and also is a great stand alone novel!

Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

I just finished a marathon reading of A Reliable Wife. It was one of those books that I literally couldn’t put down.

A Reliable Wife is a beautifully written novel set in the harsh winter of Northern Wisconsin in 1907(location: Fictional town of Truitt somewhere on the shores of Lake Superior). Ralph Truitt has lived a lonely past twenty years after a very tragic and mysterious married life. He advertises for a mail ordered “reliable wife.” Catherine Land answers his advertisement and upon arrival is not the plain Jane in the picture that she sent to Ralph. She is beautiful, and has many secrets of her own to hide. There is a roller-coaster of events that I will leave off as to not spoil the book.

The lyrical prose of this book was wonderful, starting with the first line, “It was a bitter cold, the air electric with all that had not happened yet.” The setting of the novel in the cold, bitter winter in a land of depressed people was stark and perfect for the novel. Ralph and Catherine are both troubled souls seeking redemption. As the book progresses, it is interesting to see how two people who start off seeming so un alike are actually quite similar. I enjoyed their characters and learning more about them.

The story was unpredictable and twisted and turned to an ending I certainly did not predict. It kept me riveted. I really wanted to read this book after seeing it compared to my favorite authors, Daphne Du Maurier and the Bronte sisters. While it did have a gothic sinister darkness to the plot that was also driven with despair, it is really its own novel. I did love it, but I wouldn’t rank it above Jane Eyre or Rebecca.

With the setting of the novel in 1907, one would expect it to be staid and sexless, it is anything but. At first I was put off by Ralph’s constant thoughts about sex as it just wasn’t something I was interested in reading. But sex and the way different characters handle it or have issues with it is definitely a main part of this book and I grew accepting of that.

One small complaint I had is that sometimes the setting did not seem accurate. I lived for six years in Houghton, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, which is isolated and routinely receives 300 plus inches of snow in a year. I now currently live in Northeast Wisconsin. It seemed strange to me that the world would be so winter locked in the fall. I could see that happening around Thanksgiving and especially in January or February, but not before. I also wondered about the trips to Chicago without mention of Milwaukee or Minneapolis, both of which would be closer to Wisconsin on the Lake Superior shore. Like I said though, these were small items that seemed only out of place to me as I’ve lived in the area. It just showed to me that the author had not, but he still wove a fantastic story.

Overall, it was a great riveting tale that will keep you guessing until the end.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library

Friday, July 9, 2010

All About the Brontes Challenge Wrap-up

I'm finally getting around to writing my wrap-up post to the All About the Brontes Challenge. I enjoyed the challenge and I hope all of the participants enjoyed the challenge as well. Feel free to post whether you would enjoy the challenge again next year and any ideas for changes within the challenge.

I wish a bit disappointed with my morning sickness and subsequent getting behing in my blog this year that I wasn't able to go as full force on the challenge as I would have liked. I also was reading all reviews until I got sick, and now I have about 90 entries in the challenge to take a look at. I will comment on all of your reviews one of these days . . . slowly, but surely!

I did manage to complete seven items for the challenge as follows:

1. Music Inspired by the Bronte Sisters
2. Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
3. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (audiobook)
5. Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark
6. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
7. Jane Eyre (1970)

I was definitely focused on Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre this time! I feel at one with Charlotte as I often think about how she likely died of Hypermesis Gravidum (super bad morning sickness), which is what I was suffering from this spring. Unlike Charlotte, modern medicine has IVs and medication to allow women to survive.

I didn't stick to my original list, but went with the flow of what I found. I think of the books I read, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys were my favorite. The Secret Diaries as I loved the the romance between Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols. I really enjoyed Wide Sargasso Sea as it gave me a different point of view of Bertha Rochester.

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier, but I will have to try again next time!

Feel free to keep posting your final thoughts and reviews for the All About the Bronte Challenge! I will keep the icons up for the next month or so. Thank-you to all who participated!

Winner of Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark!

Meredith of Austenesque Reviews is the lucky winner of Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark courtesy of Sourcebooks. Meredith was chosen using and has been notified by email.

Thank-you to all who entered this great giveaway! I will hopefully have some new giveaways coming soon . . .

Jane Eyre (1970)

I have watched many versions of Jane Eyre over the years, but somehow I had missed seeing the 1970 version starring George C. Scott and Susannah York. I finally watched it almost two weeks ago and I enjoyed it.

This version completely starts at Lowood School and completely misses Aunt Reed and company. It also varies from the novel in several other instances as one would expect in a two-hour movie from such a long and complex novel. Most noticeably is at the end Jane’s time with the Rivers cousins is shown, but decreased substantially from the novel. Indeed they are never referred to as her cousins and she never receives her inheritance from her Uncle. I was glad the Rivers were shown as they are often left out, but I thought it did Jane a great disservice to not have her receive her inheritance. I love how in the novel she goes back to Rochester as an independent woman.

Truthfully I thought that Susannah York was too old to be playing Jane. When Jane goes to Thornfield she should be closer to 18 if my memory serves, but Susannah York is more like 30. She did an okay job portraying Jane, but is definitely not one of my favorites. On the other hand, I wasn’t so sure about George C. Scott as Rochester, but his surly method of playing Rochester soon grew on me. By the end, I really loved his performance as Rochester. I still love Toby Stephens and Ciaran Hinds as my favorite Rochester’s overall though.

I thought there was a spark missing from York’s Jane Eyre and Scott’s Rochester. In fact, if I had just watched the movie and had never read the book, I would wonder why and how Jane Eyre had ever fallen in love with Mr. Rochester. It wasn’t very apparent. This Jane Eyre seemed more about being misty eyed over Mr. Rochester and less about being an independent woman who loves Mr. Rochester.

Overall, I enjoyed watching the movie, but I would not rate it as one of my favorite Jane Eyre movies overall.

This was my seventh and final item for the All About the Brontes Challenge.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

All About the Brontes Challenge End

All good things must come to an end and so too much the All About the Brontes Challenge. It has now officially ended, but feel free to post your final reviews and wrap-ups. I watched the 1970 Jane Eyre movie this past weekend, but haven't had a chance to write my review yet. I'll be out of town camping this weekend without a computer so my review and wrap-up posts will appear next week.

Also let me know - would you be interested in a 2011 All About the Brontes Challenge? If so, is there anything different you would like to see in a new challenge?