A Bit About Jane Eyre

Hello dear readers,

I am someone who feels anxious about having unread books in my own bookshelf. I feel that if you buy a book, or are gifted one, then you must read it at least within the year. So every book I own, I have read, except for about a handful. Those unread tittles make me itch with anxiety whenever I remember them sitting alone and unread on my shelf. So in an attempt to start reading those unread books, I picked up Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Now, I have mentioned in a previous post that I love classics, but I had never gotten around to reading Jane Eyre, even in high school which is when most people read it.

So what brought Jane Eyre to my bookshelf? I was in the mood for a nice romantic movie one day while looking through Netflix and I came across the 2011 film Jane Eyre. I am a huge fan of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, so of course I gave it a watch. And I am glad I did because I really loved it. It had all the elements of a great movie, an orphan girl with a troubling childhood, a brooding handsome man in love with a plain girl, a mystery, and a happy ending. So since I enjoyed the movie so much, I become interested in reading the book. Because as soon as I find a movie is based on a book I must read it, knowing it will be a million times better.

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The 2 leads are of course more beautiful than described in the book

I believe in the law of attraction, any ideas and thoughts we set fourth come back to us in many different ways. A few weeks after watching Jane Eyre I took to visiting my local thrift store. I love looking through the old books hoping to find a hidden gem. I had completely forgotten that I had wanted to read Jane Eyre, when the tittle popped out to me while looking through the bookshelves. Sure this book isn’t on top of many peoples reading list and it’s not that surprising to find it in a thrift store. It’s an old story that many people no longer relate to, but I felt it was the universe reminding me that I wanted to read it.

So as I mentioned earlier, this book I had longed for remained unread in my book shelf for more than a year! Yes, when I came home from the thrift store that day I attempted to read the book, but I found myself being bored by the Victorian way of speaking and writing. I set it down and didn’t revisit it. I am somewhat glad I ignored it that day, because I think I was meant to read it when I did. Last week I picked up Jane Eyre and was totally engrossed by it. I have not felt this way about a book in a very long time. I was feeling so many emotions. I was laughing, crying of sadness and happiness, I was stirred by the love story, and was an anxious wreck whenever a suspenseful part came about. It may appear as just a simple story about a plain girl’s life; but in that, we encounter so much more than expected. We find Jane Eyre is anything but plain and her character and sense of self really grab the reader.

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Jane was a true feminist, brave, intelligent, and had a curious inquisitive soul. She has seriously become a role model in my life. After reading this book, I looked at what people thought about it online (big mistake, haha). Many people thought she was a prude for not marrying Mr. Rochester or that the story was dry and boring. I think that her not marrying Mr. Rochester just demonstrates her strength of character and self worth. Not very many would have been able to deny a man that loves them that deeply regardless of the fact that he was married. I asked myself many times if I would. And I don’t think I could have, especially with the way he pleaded with her during their separation. But like Jane Eyre knew, the relationship would have been fraught with guilt and possibly resentment. Is it true happiness if guilt and uncertainty are always looming around you? And sure, I myself had some difficulty with this story the first time I tried reading it, but if you give it a chance it will definitely surprise you and hopefully teach you something, as it did for me.

now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils”

This quote resonated so much with me. Sometimes we live life in such a routine that we forget that the world is so much bigger than us. That we must seek it and explore it, and learn from it, regardless of how scary that idea might be to us.

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woman are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.  It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom had pronounced necessary for their sex”

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Women weren’t known for saying things like this in 1847! Charlotte Bronte was definitely a woman beyond her time, thus making her heroine Jane Eyre one as well. Jane Eyre considered herself an equal to men, and I believe that is one of the reasons Mr. Rochester fell in love with her.

I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, or even of mortal flesh:⏤it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,⏤ as we are!”  

“As we are!” repeated Mr. Rochester”

I quickly forgot that the Victorian way of writing had bored me before. Instead it now made me long for daily conversations of this depth. I felt such a rapport with Jane. I even get the feeling she might be a fellow INFJ. That is why I say I read this book at the perfect time in my life. I will forever cherish the way this book made me feel, the longing for a more meaningful life it has stirred within me and the crude reality that I cannot let life pass me by, but must take initiative in times of doubt.

Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

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“She comes from the other world⏤from the abode of people who are dead; and tells me so when she meets me alone here in the gloaming! If I dared I’d touch you to see if you are substance or shadow, you elf!”

I also loved the supernatural aspects of this book. I love the fact that Mr. Rochester calls Jane a fairy, elf, and other mythical creatures in an endearing way. Also the mystery surrounding Rochester’s wife was perfectly played out and gives the reader a sense of mystery as they read. Jane’s experience in the red room,her premonitions and dreams all add to the supernatural element found in Jane Eyre.

The ending was truly beautiful and satisfying for a reader that longs for Jane’s and Mr. Rochester’s happiness. I feel like they needed to have gone through that ordeal for Mr. Rochester to really appreciate Jane for the woman she was. Not that he didn’t before, but I think their separation cemented their undying and unwavering love for each other.

And as I had known, the book was much, much better than the movie. I watched the film again after I finished reading the book, and it sadly paled in comparison. All the conversations between Jane and Mr. Rochester, Jane’s thoughts and Charlotte Bronte’s descriptive and emotional narrative are all greatly missed in the movie. But for anyone not looking for a lengthy Victorian read, then the movie should do just fine although I would recommend watching other versions as I will do as well, to see if the others did the book any justice.

Have you read Jane Eyre before, what did you think about it?

I love that Jane addresses her readers, so I think I will do the same ^_^

Until next time, Jeannete x.

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“I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.”

 

Bookends

So today as I was driving home from work I was listening to the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a lovely compilation of really great artists, from The Smiths to Regina Spektor. Ever since I watched the film years ago I loved the soundtrack and I love listening to it every so often. There is a song on there from Simon and Garfunkel called Bookends. Everyone knows the amazing Sound of Silence and Mrs.Robinson whenever Simon and Garfunkel are mentioned, but this song is rarely spoken of.  It is nostalgic and romantic and soft and gentle. It is sad and happy and hopeful and so ridiculously beautiful, it is also very very short. I kept repeating the song over and over. It made driving through horrendous traffic much bearable. And I decided that if I had to pick a song that represents my soul I would pick Bookends.

    “Time it was and what a time it was,

      it was

      A time of innocence

      a time of confidences

      long a go it must be

      I have a photograph

      Preserve your memories

      they’re all that’s left you”

          – Simon and Garfunkel

This song completely encompasses everything that is my soul. The music is sweet, and the song makes you think of days gone by. There aren’t many lyrics but every word is poignant and meaningful and nostalgic. I myself am a very nostalgic person. Nostalgia is a wistfulness for the past and looking back and missing something you once had.  It can be bad to always be looking backwards at what once was and not looking toward the future. But I tend to feel nostalgia for times that haven’t happened yet. For children I might have, for tender moments with the one I love. I am nostalgic even for things that I’ve never experienced. I am also a romantic and I’m sure it plays into this. But how can you long for something you’ve never known? The little warm moments in between moments. I love and long for it all. Also, the title of this song is Bookends and my love of books cannot be missed with my love for this song. So yes that is why this song is a representation of my soul.

Hope you didn’t mind this ramble, I felt like it needed to be written and shared. Is there a song you feel this way about?

Until next time, Jeannete x

 

 

Book Review: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

A bit of a reading slump was what lead me to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

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Up until I heard about this book, I had been trying and failing to get through Hollow City, the second installment of Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children. I read through the first part just fine, in fact I found it very interesting and finished it in about a week. When I was almost done I ordered Hollow City and thanks to Amazon Prime, it arrived right the next day. I was so happy that I was going to be able to continue right away with the second part of the story. Much to my dismay, however, I have found that Hollow City is not a smooth read. I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding myself not caring about what happens to the characters and their adventure, which is very bad for someone who really liked the first part! I think my problem is that I really don’t like the main character, Jacob.  Anyway I have totally gone off topic now. I needed a good book, but I didn’t feel like reading anything on my shelf, and I just felt antsy to read something new and intriguing. I heard about the curious incident of the dog in the night-time through Marzia’s blog. I ordered it through Amazon Prime on Friday, and it arrived on Sunday around noon. I was so excited to read it because after I heard about this book I did a bit of research and it sounded like something I really might enjoy. So I began reading it right away; I’m glad the book arrived on a Sunday because I don’t know what I would have done had it arrived today for example and I had to go to work because I read and finished the book before Game of Thrones started (!!!) around 5ish the same day. The book is so easy to read and the way the story is written just makes you want to keep reading it to find out what the outcome will be.

The book is described as a mystery but it is much more than that. It is a window to the life of a teenager who has Asperger Syndrome, which is now part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have never met anyone with this or any similar disorder so it was intriguing and heart wrenching to read a book that describes this disorder so candidly. Since the story is told in first person we are able to feel what Christopher (the main character) feels on a much more personal level. Looking at life through his perspective, it doesn’t seem at all strange that he would react the way he does to the world around him. As someone who is an introvert, I related to some of his feelings, however, I cannot imagine how horrible it must feel to be so crippled by doing “simple” day to day things. I found this book so full of hope despite its unlikely outcome.  I am someone who is optimistic and hopeful and I would like to believe that things will work out for Christopher. There are so many different little aspects of this book that really make you stop and think about how futile and insignificant some things we worry about really are. I feel like this book should be read by everyone. If there’s one thing the world seriously lacks is empathy. The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes and feel what they feel. I will be giving this book another read, because sometimes I read too fast and I want to take things slowly since I already know what happens. I give the curious incident of the dog in the night-time 5/5.

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Phew. I’ve never written a book review so hopefully you gained some insight about this great book, I didn’t want to go too in depth and give anything away, as many of the reviews on Goodreads did! I hope you enjoy reading it and learning from it as much as I did.

Until next time, Jeannete x

 

A Day At The Arboretum

This past Saturday the weather was beautiful, sunny with a slight wind.  It was about 85-90 degrees, so it was really hot.  But it felt like the perfect day to do something out of the ordinary.  My husband Danny proposed to me in the Arcadia Arboretum because he knows how much I love that place. Since then I’ve been wanting to go back, however, one thing or another always prevented us from going.  I don’t know, maybe the stars were aligned just right, but Danny agreed to go to the Arboretum even though the day was so hot.  We only stayed about an hour and half but we will definitely be coming back and explore the rest of the arboretum when it’s not as warm. 

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The city of Arcadia’s logo is a Peacock, and you can find many of them roaming around the neighborhoods, but they obviously look more at home in the Arboretum’s beautiful gardens.
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The right side of the Arboretum is divided into Africa and Australia – showcasing different plants and trees that grow in those countries. There’s also a tropical greenhouse.  We didn’t explore those parts because as we looked at the map, it became clear what I wanted to see the most, which was the Queen Anne Cottage that was built in 1885, and that was located on the left side. I love historical buildings and the rose garden was next door so we made our way in that direction.

DSC00236Before reaching the Cottage we passed through the Prehistoric Forest which felt and smelled beautifully fresh.  The plants were so green, and it felt like we weren’t in the modern world.  DSC00240DSC00241

We also spotted these cute little turtles swimming around in a pond.

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After a lovely walk, and a pineapple popsicle, we arrived at the Cottage.

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The cottage was really adorable and when we peaked through those tall windows, the cottage was beautifully decorated inside.  I wished I was sitting in the quaint little table and chair sipping some tea and reading a book.  In one of the rooms though there were 2 mannequins of children playing with toys and that was actually really creepy! I imagined them roaming the house at night (chills!) haha.  A little further down the cottage there was a huge barn.

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It was really dark inside so I didn’t take any photos, but there were old timey coaches parked inside and horse stables.  The time Danny and I got engaged we didn’t fully explore, and I had only been there once before in a field trip when I was really young.  So the Arboretum lived in my mind as a magical place, it didn’t disappoint! We followed the trail to the rose garden which made me feel like I was Mary discovering my own secret garden.

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For the amount of time we were there we really explored quite a lot. Next time though, there will still be a lot left to discover.

Do you enjoy nature walks? Have you been to an Arboretum?

Jeannete x.

 

 

I Went Home

And by that I mean I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you hadn’t already guessed from My Top 5 Favorite Books Of All Time post, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I live and breath these stories, so going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was something I wanted to do since I heard they were building it. When Danny and I got married last year, we had planned on going to Universal Orlando for our honeymoon solely so we could visit the Wizarding World, but our finances just didn’t allow for that. Later we heard they were building one at Universal Studios Hollywood, so of course we had to go. They opened it in April, but we waited till our wedding anniversary to go.

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The most beautiful place in all the land!

I was not disappointed one bit, it seriously looked exactly like it did in the film.  I felt like I was right in the Harry Potter universe! My only disappointment (which was super tiny) was that they didn’t build Gringotts as they did in Universal Orlando, with the super awesome fire breathing dragon, and the fact that you can’t ride the train! But everything else was pure magic. The shops were heaven and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was so freaking awesome. I will not lie, I shed tiny tears of joy when I first rode it because I literally felt like I was in Hogwarts, plus Harry was talking to me and it was just amazing all around. The ride itself is a tiny bit scary (I’m not a fan of roller coasters or drops) but this one was just so magical that I didn’t even mind the couple small drops (that made my stomach clench) so much. The other ride,  The Flight of the Hippogriff, though described as family friendly was actually a bit scary for me (I am indeed a chicken though so don’t take my word for it). I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t worth getting on again. The ride was only what felt like 30 seconds long.

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DSC00105DSC00104We had breakfast and lunch at the Three Broomsticks. It was really beautiful inside.  All the furniture and the atmosphere just felt so magical. I tried both the Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. They were both very sweet, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth (like danny) you might not enjoy it as much. My favorite was definitely the Butterbeer.

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The ceiling of The Three Broomsticks ^_^
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*^o^*
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Proud Ravenclaw

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Since The Wizarding World part isn’t that big, we set out and explored the rest of the park. I have only been once before, so it was fun going on the rides and seeing the shows. Water World is a really fun show to watch, but sit all the way at the top if you don’t want to get soaked! I “bravely” endured Jurassic Park for Danny, it’s a fun ride, but that drop though! There was a tiny little girl sitting next to me though so I couldn’t be a chicken about it. But as the evening started to approach, we made our way back to Hogwarts. We visited Ollivanders where a person is selected to receive a wand. As Danny and I stay close to the walls in crowded spaces, neither of us was selected. But it was still fun to watch.  The shop was lined to the ceiling with wands.

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Still getting the hang of my new camera, photo came out slightly blurry.

We missed the Frog Choir show, but made the Triwizard Spirit Rally. The girls from Beauxbatons were definitely my favorite.

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The weather was a perfect 60 degrees with gray clouds and sun peeking in and out all day. It definitely helped set the tone.

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My only purchases were Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, a Chocolate Frog, a few other sweets for my nieces and nephew, House enamel pins, and a postcard that got ruined in my backpack. Though I managed to save part of it by cutting away the crumpled wet(?) part.

DSC00146We also went into The Hogs Head for some drinks and got these cool mugs to take home. Danny got the Witches Brew and I had another Butterbeer.

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We had such a magical, wonderful day, that we will surely be returning. I cannot wait to see it beautifully decorated for Christmas!

Have you been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood? Orlando? How was your experience? Tell me about it in the comments, I would love to know.

Until next time, Jeannete x