Blurb (from Amazon): Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.
She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.
However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.
Thoughts: I was blown away by this book. It was fantastic and I can't quite believe I'm typing this, it may have knocked Pride and Prejudice off the top of my favourite romance novels and it has stormed to second in my favourite books list (top The Reader if you were interested). I loved the characters, the plot, a great book.
17. Lord Edgware Dies - Agatha Christie
Blurb: Supper at the Savoy! Hercule Poirot, the famous little detective, was enjoying a pleasant little supper party there as the guest of Lady Edgware, formerly Jane Wilkinson, a beautiful young American actress. During the conversation Lady Edgware speaks of the desirability of getting rid of her husband, Lord Edgware, since he refused to divorce her, and she wants to marry the Duke of Merton. M. Poirot jocularly replies that getting rid of husbands is not his speciality. Within twenty-four hours, however, Lord Edgware dies. This amazing story once more reveals Agatha Christie as the perfect teller of Detective stories. It will be difficult indeed to lay down the book until one learns the true solution of the mystery.
Thoughts: There is a slight problem with watching an adaption before reading the book - you know what should be coming and when the book is a bit of a slog, you want to hurry it along. Not sure why I feel so ambivalent toward this book, maybe I was just in a funny mood when reading it. Overall a good story, clearly need to be in the right mood to read it.
18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
Blurb: Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does he know that this year will be just as eventful as the last...
Thoughts: There isn't really much to say on Harry Potter that hasn't been said before really is there? Thoroughly enjoyable, pleasant read. Looking forward to finishing the third which I am currently reading.
19. The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
Pages: 503 (6639)
Blurb: Tender and tragic, set against the turbulent backdrop of wartime Britain, The Night Watch is the extraordinary story of four Londoners; Kay, who wanders the streets in mannish clothes, restless and searching...Helen, who harbours a troubling secret...Viv, glamour girl, recklessly loyal to her soldier lover...and Duncan, an apparent innocent, struggling with demons of his own.
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit liaisons and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, this is astonishing novel.
Thoughts: This initially felt like a bit of a slow burner but then it just kicked in from nowhere. The interlinked plots were so brilliantly done and so intriguing you just had to keep reading. To read a book which is essentially back to front should've felt stranger than it did but it soon never crossed your mind. This has again gone really high on books I would recommend to people as it is so different and so powerful. I loved it.