Before I really start this story, I want to underline that this is my opinion and that I do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings. I understand that there are many people who love, but yeah, for me, not so much. Although I did finish the novel and even wrote an essay about it, I just couldn’t get over the fact how much Jane, as a character, annoyed me. And let’s not start about Mr. Rochester. However, the following story, that happened a few years back, was while looking back on it, a huge sign why I should not have finished the novel in the first place. My process of reading the novel was already haunted, and some misery befell upon me, which I will start telling you about in the following.
It was the first semester of my senior year of college, I took an awesome course called Kaleidoscope of Western Literature, in which we were suppose to read Dante, Bret Easton Ellis, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë and many more. During summer break I decided to nerd it up and already start reading Pride and Prejudice and absolutely loving it. Then senior year actually started and I was of course behind with, well everything, Jane Eyre included.
I don’t know why, but somehow Jane annoyed me a lot. However, I didn’t want to give up, so one evening, after eating dinner and having done laundry, I decided to really sit down, make myself comfortable and read.
Then a fire in the kitchen broke out: the oven. And let me make one thing clear, although popular belief would think otherwise: it wasn’t me.
So I just settled down, read the first few pages, doing my thing and not minding the burning smell that came from the kitchen. This might sound weird, but living in a student house, you’re used to all kinds of smells. However, when my roommate came to the kitchen to check up on her tacos (yes, tacos), she made a weird noise. Since it didn’t sound good, I decided to take a look, forgetting to close the door behind me.
When I walked into the kitchen the smoke detector started squeaking, a big ball of fire made its way outside our oven, including lots of smoke. My roommate was standing there, with a tea towel in her hands, meaning to extinguish the fire – never a good idea. Luckily we also had fire extinguishers, so I picked one up and screamed: “HOW DOES THIS THING WORK?!?!??!!” Unfortunately, all my roommate could say was “uhhh”. I don’t blame her, but we had some pressing issues to deal with.
Luckily I discovered the pin, took it out, and tried to point the extinguisher towards the fire. It worked. My roommate and I, coughing and laughing hysterically, then opened the other door and went outside to our garden. Meanwhile the smoke detector was still squeaking, and our neighbors (all students) looked out of their windows and just laughed at us. My other roommate checked up on us and asked “what the hell is going on?!” discovering what actually had occurred.
So, you might wonder, what happened after that? Well, obviously I never got to read Jane Eyre that evening. Instead, we had to clean up the kitchen, hallway, and my room, which, thanks to the fire extinguisher looked like a snowy afternoon in Wisconsin.
I’m usually not a big believer of signs, but this particular evening, I really think the universe tried to tell me something: Don’t read Jane Eyre! It worked. Also, never put tacos in the oven, a fire will be inevitable.
Maritza Dubravac is our new columnist, writing about her bookstore life. Besides organizing the YA book club with us, she’s a mean cook and bakes the free tasties for those evenings. She also writes for Books & Bubbles, Hebban.nl about books and sometimes dabbles in food writing at Nadelunch.com.