I read Jane Eyre for the first time when I was eight, and I was captured for life by Jane's romantic quietude. This 8-tape tome read by ____ was a lovely remedy for the awful abridged version I picked up by accident and started listening to last month.... Ptuh! Ptui! It was awful. I needed reassuring that the meditative character analysis and religious racketeering were still safe, especially since Fforde's The Eyre Affair implanted worrisome ideas in my subconscious. Not to worry - Jane is safe.
It is a wonderful book - indulgent of flights of fancy and fully characteristic of the sensibility of the Victorian age. Jane's worth, and Rochester's, is that they are passionate and sensible beings, with strong emotions that are nevertheless held (mostly) in check by judgment and proper reserve.
The narrator voices Jane's thoughts well; she got on my nerves when voicing the child Jane in a piping voicelet, but redeemed herself in the later part of the narrative with the adult cast of characters.
Reading this makes me want to write a romance novel. I am trying to think of what the modern equivalent of Mr. Rochester's dark secret would be. It is something he is ashamed of, and hides from his friends. Something that prevents him and Jane from being together. Something that to a limited extent (but only so far) is his own responsibility, but had consequences far out of proportion to the act.
The modern Mr. Rochester might be HIV+. That's the only thing I could think of. But that would make it difficult for the happy ending to happen. It must be an obstacle that can, eventually, be removed.
Oh, and by the way, don't buy this one....Try one with another narrator. Unabridged, of course.