Friday, March 25, 2016

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Standalone
432 p.
Published: 3/22/16
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
"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 have to admit it took me a bit to get into this book. I just didn't quite connect to Jane at first but I did love that there were passages from Jane Eyre in the book. I also didn't like the "said I" and "said he" instead of the I said interspersed unevenly throughout the book. Small niggles however.

By the middle of the book I became interested and invested in Jane. By the end, I totally loved the book. I'm an ending girl so the beginning where I had some problems now does not bother me in the least. I can say I loved this book and would reread it at any time.

The story line follows Jane Eyre in a very loose interpretation. Those that don't care for retellings might like this one as she uses the book to get through life more than the book becoming a alternative manifestation of the classic. She is also more of a survivalist than Jane Eyre who had survived by luck and circumstance. This Jane tended to make her own circumstance and protect those that she loved.

As I stated the ending was good, but odd. I think that because I'm reading the ARC it needed a bit more tweaking at the end. You go from storyline to author's note without notice. It was confusing at first but as I said... this was an ARC so take that with a salt mine.

I highly recommend this book. You do not have to have read the classic to read this and understand. This Jane goes through her own analysis of that book so you don't have worry. It is interesting to see what she picks out to emulate and what she thought were tragic mistakes on Eyre's part. Those who love historical romance with a mystery and some killing will enjoy this book. It is labeled adult but I think older YA and NA readers could get into it without problem.

25 comments:

  1. I do like Jane Eyre so for that...

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  2. I haven't read the original story but one day! I love the cover of this one!

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  3. This one is getting a lot of press, I know our bookstore got a lot of stuff cause the publisher is pushing it more. I had read one other review and I think it wasn't as good as yours. I mean, they didn't like it as much as you. I had thought that it's probably not for me, but now I'm reconsidering. We do have an ARC of it so I could read it. I guess we'll see. I think maybe I need to see a few more reviews.

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    1. It seems that a lot of people had the opposite reaction than I did. I'm wondering if they were expecting more of a true retelling and by the blurb I knew we weren't getting that. Plus, like I said, the ending was odd for me.

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  4. I kind of like that she uses the book to get through life..clever!

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  5. I didn't know this was marked as adult! I'm a lot more interested in it now for sure and I'm really curious to see how this compares with the original. Wonderful review, Melissa--I'm definitely adding this to my TBR!

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  6. I don't know. I hated reading Jane Eyre... both times. Not sure I could do this.

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    1. I love that story... but I admit I do like the movie better. :)

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  7. I read Jane Eyre in high school but that was so long ago I only remember parts of it but I did like it. I don't like that this Jane is a murderer unless it was in self defense. Glad you enjoyed it though! Great review-I especially liked your salt mine comment!

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    1. She has reason for murder... but it may or may not be okay with you. (spoiler alert) One was self defense. ...and thanks! LOL

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  8. We are indeed opposites with this book. One of the things I wish was different is I hope the Jane Eyre slant was just removed or wasn't this major thing because I ended up comparing the two and that's when it started to go downhill for me.

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    1. Yea, I didn't really compare so it didn't bother me in that manner. I was wondering if that is why some didn't like it.

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  9. I've never read Jane Eyre. I'm really glad that this one worked out for you. I've read some retellings that have worked out great and others that would've been left alone.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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  10. Happy the ending was good but I hate not connecting with the beginnings.

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    1. Well, it just kinda meshed too well with the author's notes so it was confusing. I do think that is an ARC thing though.

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  11. I just read a very similar review this morning. I hadn't even heard of this book but it sounds interesting.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. It does seem like you will like this one or not. :)

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    2. It does seem like you will like this one or not. :)

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  12. It has a unique kind of interpretation at least. But there's been too many underwhelming reviews for this one that I'm having a tough time ignoring them. Lol. Also, it's not one of my favourite classics, to be honest.

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  13. Sounds like a different read Melissa, hard to get into and a weird ending... Sounds like a interesting.

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