When I was a kid, probably late elementary or early junior high, my mom introduced me to the old movie version of this book that had Elizabeth Taylor in it. It was a haunting movie and I was thrilled a few years later, early high school, to find the book and read it. Needless to say, the book contains so much that the movie left out but it is equally haunting and quickly became one of my favorite books.
Most people know the basic story line, poor mistreated orphan makes good, but that is a very simplistic way to summarize this novel. The dark, heavy, brooding atmosphere is so perfectly done that this is the ultimate gothic romance for me. I hope there were never real adults of such evilness and cruelty as the adults in young Jane's life. I felt every unkindness and petty cruelty with her. The deep mystery of Thornfield Hall drew me in completely. You feel every shadow of that huge stone mansion. The characters were real and have stuck with me as if they were people I have met somewhere along the way in life.
Other books have used similar story lines to Jane Eyre but none have done them as successfully. This is the epitome of gothic romance and gothic horror to me.
This book is one of my most highly recommended ever. And that goes for the 1943 movie version of it also!