Thanks to everyone who responded so enthusiastically to my suggestion that we pick up the threads of the Book Group, and here at last I am doing just that.
Having said before that our aim is to explore both the highways and byeways of literature, our next book is most definitely in the former category to the extent that we have probably all read it, but maybe not for some time.
A chance mention of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre yesterday* set me thinking that it might be a good choice for us: if you read it when young, what will your more adult self make of it, and if you haven't ever read it, then I hope this "work of genius" (as it's described on the back of my Penguin edition) is a treat in store.
"Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre none the less emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr. Rochester and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society."
I wrote a dissertation on the romantic hero in the novels of the Brontë sisters in my final year at school, but I don't think I've revisited any of the books since then. Once it came to mind, I was immediately very keen to re-read it, though I'm curious as to how I'll feel about this classic so many years on; I hope you won't take much persuading to pick it up, either.
As it's quite a long book, and I don't want anyone to feel under pressure, I've given us about ten weeks to read it, and set the discussion date as Saturday, 25th. April. That's when I'll put up a brief post here, and everyone can have their say in the comments, then or in subsequent days or weeks. No-one should have any difficulty getting hold of a copy, assuming you don't already have one on your shelves.
I hope you approve of this choice and will be happy to join in, whether you're a long term member of the group or will be participating for the first time.