I grew up with Jane Eyre. It is my mother’s favorite book. She referred to it frequently when I was a little girl. When our local CBS channel ran the BBC miniseries, we spent every evening that week glued to the television. Although Bertha Mason scared my five-year-old self, I loved the show, mostly because my mama did. I could not wait to learn to read well enough to borrow Jane Eyre from the library.
I attempted to read it for the first time when I was in the sixth grade, and was sorely disappointed. I couldn’t get into it. Taking my mother’s suggestion, I waited until I was older to try again. This time, I borrowed it when I was an eighth grader, and I was hooked. To date, I’ve read the book literally a dozen times (I’ve actually counted).
As a teenager, I related to Jane. I was quiet, intelligent, petite, and (I thought) homely. Of course, the romance appealed to me as well. I still relate to Jane as an adult, but not necessarily for the same reasons. And Mr. Rochester has become one of my absolute favorite male characters. I did not like his brooding as a teenager. I appreciate and understand it as an adult.
Someone told me that my writing style reminds her of Charlotte Bronte. That is one of the absolute best compliments have received.
I discovered A Voice in the Wind when I was sixteen. It follows a Christian Jew named Hadassah from the fall of Jerusalem into Rome where her life and witness affect countless people. Hadassah is one of my absolute favorite female characters. For years, I said if I ever had a daughter I would name her Hadassah. I’ve changed my mind about that, but not about the character. I have read this book ten times. The pages of my first paperback copy are yellowed and broken in sections, but I keep it because I like the cover art. The cover of my current copy isn’t as colorful or attractive, but at least the book is still bound.
Although I read A Voice in the Wind as a teenager, I would only recommend it for mature teenage readers. If the book were a movie, it would definitely receive an R rating.
Do you have a book that you’ve read more than three times? Leave your answer in the comments. I would love to hear from you!