Love 'Jane Eyre'? Read This Nonfiction Book Next

by Julia Seales

The first time I read Jane Eyre , I hated it. I was in sixth grade, and all I can remember thinking is, “Why does this character continuously mention how she’s not beautiful?”

Years later, I decided to finally read the book again. I’ve been reading through a list of classics, and since I could barely remember any plot points from Jane Eyre, I figured that my sixth-grade self might not have accurately assessed this well-known literary work.

So I bought a secondhand copy of Jane Eyre at the bookstore, and I began to read the story for what felt like the first time. At first, I was skeptical, and inclined to agree with my sixth-grade self. Jane was so serious! Where was the sparkling wit of the Elizabeth Bennet-type characters I usually look for in literature?

But finally, when she proclaimed, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will,” Jane fully won me over.After finishing the book, I realized that I had several Jane Eyre-inspired books in my TBR pile. I had been avoiding them, because I hadn’t read the novel in so long, but I finally delved into these books. One nonfiction book stood out, and it’s worth a read for any fan of Jane Eyre. This book is Jane Eyre's Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine's Story by Jody Gentian Bower. Here's why every Jane Eyre fan should read this nonfiction book:

1. It Discusses The Original Story

Though it's nonfiction, Jane Eyre's Sisters explores the plot of fictional books featuring the heroine's journey, and Jane Eyre is the top book discussed. If you love the storyline of Jane Eyre, you'll also love viewing it through the lens of the heroine's journey.

2. It Outlines The Heroine's Journey Vs. The Hero's Journey

Speaking of the heroine's journey, what actually is that? Well, you've probably heard of the hero's journey, AKA the steps that each hero takes in a story to complete his quest. Jane Eyre's Sisters discusses the idea of a heroine's journey, which makes this a must-read for those who loved Jane's quest for independence.

3. It Explores Feminist Themes In Literature

Jane Eyre is known for its feminist themes. After all, Jane refuses to let others control her, and she won't marry someone who treats her as an object. She insists on equality, and she always follows her desire for independence. If themes like that interest you, you'll love Jane Eyre's Sisters, which delves into feminism and its relation to literature.

4. It Is Full Of Advice For Writers

Are you a writer who's been inspired by Jane Eyre? Then you need to read Jane Eyre's Sisters. This book's discussion of themes will be incredibly helpful to writers.

5. If You Love The Character Of Jane, You'll Love The Discussion Of The Heroine

If your favorite part of Jane Eyre is Jane herself, you'll love the discussion of the "heroine" in Jane Eyre's Sisters. There are many kinds of heroines, and this book explores them all — especially the independent types like Jane.

6. It's All About Independence

Speaking of independence, that's what Jane Eyre's Sisters is all about. This is the theme that stood out to me most when rereading Jane Eyre, and it's a theme that's discussed in this nonfiction exploration of a heroine's journey as well. If you like reading about independent heroines, and what they truly seek, you will definitely enjoy Jane Eyre's Sisters.

Images: Focus Features (1), Giphy (6)