When I was younger, I thought of the beginning of this book as "the boring part". The story didn't start until Mr. Rochester (sigh) entered the picture. On my most recent reread I changed my mind. The portrait of Jane's childhood, and the fact that so many children of the time period shared similar experiences, was fascinating. The horrible family she lived with! I didn't remember how abusive they actually were. At one point she is knocked unconscious, but it's not considered that big of a deal. And then the deprivations and illness at her school. Harrowing, all of it. I think that reading this book in my thirties, as opposed to in my teens, allowed me to appreciate Jane and her strength of character more than I did the first few times through. And since it still has Mr. Rochester (swoon) I appreciate it in the old, familiar way too. Reading this book is a different experience each time, with enough of my old experience still there to give it that comfy slippers feeling.