30 Day Challenge: Day 20

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë



And this is where I have to confess that although romance is not a genre I read very often, one of my guilty secrets is that I do read and re-read those fabulously OTT ‘sex and shopping’ bonkbusters that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s.  Books like Lace by Shirley Conran, Scruples by Judith Krantz, and anything by Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper. 
These are always set in exotic locations and are full of powerful women wearing business suits with shoulder-pads to die for, and alpha-males with perfect teeth and rock-hard abs. There are boardroom battles, bedroom battles, fast cars, and designer shoes.  And all topped off with a good dollop of sex.  Pure escapist bliss.
But they’re not really romantic though, so yet again I’m turning to the 19th Century and Jane Eyre gets my vote for this challenge.  It might have been written 166 years ago, but it has all the ingredients for a classic romance novel.  Let’s check them off shall we?
  • the shy and bookish heroine – check
  • the darkly brooding hero – check
  • the ‘other woman’ – check
  • the big secret – check
  • plenty of misunderstandings – check
  • nearly ending up with the wrong guy – check
  • dramatic scenes – check
  • the happy ever after we were all waiting for - check and check
It’s just perfect.  And in the hands of a craftswoman like Charlotte Bronte, the story becomes one of the greatest romance novels ever written.  If you are not moved by this, then you must have a heart of stone.
“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”
And who could fail to be moved by this
Reader, I married him.
Ah, I love a happy ending.