The story of Jane Eyre begins like a fairy tale. A girl orphaned since birth is cast away by surviving kin and is sent to a school that is more like a prison for the obscure and unwanted. In there, she is nearly starved, always freezing, and bored to death with religious rituals, but Jane finds some comfort in the company of fellow student, the believer of endurance, the stoic, Helen.
There's something more chilling in reading a novel written in epistolary format, especially when the journal entries and newspaper clippings used in the storytelling pertain to strange events and even stranger creatures.
I never liked smoking and drinking so much before this novel. Or listening to classical music while toiling away in desperation. I've chopped garlic myself with Pavane in the background when I'm in one of my gourmet cooking moods, but only Robert Neville has made me rethink the pungent smell of garlic that can stay in my flesh.