Monday, April 11, 2016

Jane Steele: A Novel by Lyndsay Faye

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:(summary from Goodreads)

Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?

my thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of books that retell beloved classics, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye.  Described as a "Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre", how could I not be excited to read this new book?!  Now, I'm not a huge fan of JE, but I do know the story well, so I knew that I would be in for a treat.  Let me just say how right I was.  Jane Steele is superb!  Here's why:
  • JS presents her story as an autobiography, which I just loved. She writes about reading Jane Eyre and how its inspired her to "imitative acts" - how crazy and fascinating is that? Plus, it makes you wonder how mentally stable JS is if she's taken to mimicking a character in a book...hmm...
  • JE's famous line, "Reader, I married him." is transformed into "Reader, I murdered him."  Talk about a dark and twisted reinterpretation!
  •  JS is a serial killer, who manages to convince the reader that her kills are justified.  I'm serious.  How can you not empathize with someone who is exposed to and experiencing verbal, physical, and sexual abuse/violence - especially when they are a child?  So, I can definitely understand JS's need for vengeance (at times).
  • JS is strong, brave, and resourceful.  She's determined to protect those she loves and cares for - no matter the cost.
  • The writing is fantastic! Its rich, vivid, and filled with plenty of references and nods to JE that I just loved. There was some romance, plenty of suspense, and loads of dark humor that made this story quirky, entertaining, and unforgettable. Absolutely loved it!
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is a terrific story that fans of Faye, fans of C. Bronte, and fans of JE will easily fall in love with.  What a fun and creative story!


Lark said...

It's funny how many retellings of Jane Eyre there are...or books that allude to it. I love that line: Reader, I murdered him. I'm not a huge Rochester fan, as you know, but I don't think I can resist this book. :)

Nadia said...

Lark, I know what you mean. Its like a trendy thing to write about nowadays it seems. Of course, there are some gems because of the trend. Definitely check it out - I think you'll enjoy it. And, I remember you disliking Rochester - just like me ;)

Terra said...

Our local bookstore is recommending 3 novels in its newsletter and this is one of them. Sounds interesting.