I have to apologize, dear Readers. Last week was incredibly busy for me, in terms of both work and life, so I didn’t have too much time to read, write blog posts, or even (*gasp*) to watch Victoria. So, I’m back today to make amends for neglecting my duties to you all, and to promise that I will be back in full force this weekend, reviewing the final two episodes of this season of Victoria. I also come with a peace offering: a belated #JNGReads post.
I haven’t had too much time to read recently, as I said, and have only just started my newest book, Havisham by Ronald Frame. It is a prequel to one of Dickens’ most famous novels (I’m sure you can all guess which one), but I haven’t had a real chance to delve into it, so I don’t have any quotes to share from it at the moment. What I do have, though, is another quote from my favourite novel, from the story that lifts me up when I’ve fallen down, that inspires me to be passionate and fearless.
“‘All is changed about me, sir; I must change too—there is no doubt of that; and to avoid fluctuations of feeling, and continual combats with recollections and associations, there is only one way—Adèle must have a new governess, sir.’”
– Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
I’ve been supremely lucky lately to have gained a few new followers over here on my modest blog, and that is something that brings me indescribable joy. There is nothing quite like waking up to comments on my posts, either on my blog directly or through Twitter or Instagram, and these little notes from fellow readers truly make me feel like what I’m thinking and feeling about literature matters a little. I appreciate you all more than words can express!
Having said that, we all fall into ruts sometimes, and I think I might be in one of those. I’ve had a few major sources of stress lately, and while books are a wonderful reprieve from everyday life, I unfortunately can’t spend 24 hours a day reading (if only I could). In the moments when I’m not reading and life is being more difficult than usual, I do tend to remind myself of scenes and passages from my favourite novels, however, if only because they remind me of simpler times when I spent hours reading and also encourage me to act as my fictional idols would. For that reason, this past week the one specific line from Jane Eyre that I quoted above has been repeating in my mind. Jane is, in a word, courageous. She suffers so much in her life, but she faces every single setback and challenge with a firm resolution and absolute strength. Although she may be anxious inwardly, she is totally unafraid in her actions and convictions. When she makes a decision, she is decided and unwavering. When Mr. Rochester puts her in a precarious position, one in which she feels disrespected and uncomfortable, she is honest about her feelings and she speaks up. Jane is proper and appropriate, yes, but she is never silent.
A lovely new follower and fellow reader I had the chance to speak to last week asked me if I ever read Jane Eyre when I’m feeling down and need motivation and comfort. The answer is yes. Jane Eyre is the one character in the world who has always made me feel stronger, who has helped me to walk taller and be bolder. I always know that I can turn to her story for respite, but also for guidance. So, thank you to this fellow reader for reminding me that all the strength I need lies in the pages of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, where I turned to find this quote and feel like myself again!
Speak to you all again soon (I promise!),
Girl with a Green Heart