What to Read in 2022


This month, I read an oldie, but a goodie: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’m in the process of reading the May recommendation from Reese’s Book Club, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. I thought I could get both books read, but it took me longer to get through Brontë’s work than I planned. I’ll share my thoughts on Williams book next month. 

Description from Kobo.com

Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester. The loneliness and cruelty of Jane’s childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice. Ever since its publication in 1847, “Jane Eyre” has enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving and unforgettable portrayal of a woman’s quest for self-respect.

My Take:

I’m guessing I read this book in high school, despite the fact I couldn’t have told you a thing about it. That’s not terribly odd for me. My selective memory is great these days. For instance, my brother described how I pelted him with water balloons when I was a senior in high school. I have no recollection. 

Back to point: the book was new to me. References to the book went over my head. Sure, I knew the main characters were Jane and Mr. Rochester, but after that, nada.

It’s probably not the right thing to say, but I don’t like historical, older books. The language isn’t really accessible to me. I’m more of a “tell me what you mean and let’s move” on type person. Most historical fiction, including romance, hits me that way. (Okay, Bridgerton is the exception, but I didn’t read that. I watched it.) There is a lot of description Brontë includes that needs parsed through with a fine tooth comb. 

But I was pleasantly surprised with the underlying plot as well as complicated themes. Brontë addresses the class system and shows how women didn’t have many of the freedoms we have now. While the romance aspect of the book didn’t ring true to me (and why would it 175 years later?), it was a good change of pace.

I don’t plan to stop reading novels set in contemporary times, but I can see myself reading more Brontë and other works from that time frame. I have The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on my eReader right now. It’s not women’s fiction, but it is historical!

If there is a book you think I should read, drop me an email at carole@carolewolfe.com. 

And in case you missed it, My Best Gamble – Brianna’s Story is on preorder now at most online book retailers. Please share the news with anyone you know who enjoys Women’s Fiction! 

Until next time…

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash