Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jane Eyre

For the month of October we picked Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to read and discuss.  If you haven't read it you should!  The characters have amazing depth and courage.  (Not to mention there's a great love story.)

Here are some of the questions asked last night:
  1. (To the host) Why do you love this book?  -Her answer: I love how moral Jane is.  You don't read many stories of heroines who are moral anymore.  She is so forgiving and strong.  
  2. Jane tells of her childhood, and then skips 8 years to the time when she gets the job with Rochester.  Why tell of her childhood at all?  Why not just begin with Rochester?
  3. How important is Jane's appearance to her character?  In this novel, how do people's looks reflect their characters?
  4. We talked about the importance of the line: "Reader, I married him" versus if Jane had said, "Reader, we were married."  Why is the phrasing of this line so important. 
  5. Does Rochester ever intend to marry Blanche Ingram?  If so, when does he change his mind?  If not, why does he go to such lengths to make Jane believe he does?
  6. Does Mrs. Reed treat Jane badly because she thinks she deserves it, or because she believes it is good for her?  Is her conscience clear?
We had a great discussion that led to many other thoughts and questions not posted here.  It was a great time.

For refreshments the host shared with the group what a typical 10 course meal in the Victorian Era consisted of.  Some of the food she served was: pie, apple cider, nuts, raisins, sweet pickles, and candied orange and lemon peels. 

Here is the recipe for the candied orange and lemon peels if you are interested in making some of your own:

Sweet Candied Orange and Lemon Peel
6 lemon peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips
4 orange peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 c white sugar
1 c water
1/3 c white sugar for decoration

  1. Place lemon and orange peel in large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine 2 c sugar and 1 c water.  Bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches thread stage, 230 degrees F (108 degrees C) on candy thermometer, or small amount dropped in cold water forms a soft thread.  Stir in peel, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Drain.
  3. Roll peel pieces, a few at a time, in remaining sugar.  Let dry on wire rack several hours.  Store in airtight container.

We are looking forward to reading the manuscript to Christian's Cross for next month's book.  


  1. Great post! Thanks for the recipe. You did a great job hosting Kristen!

  2. Thanks Crissi. It was super fun to host. I hope you all will send me a list of some of your favorite books to post. I am always looking for new reading material.