19 September 2010

Jane; April Lindner

JaneJane by April Lindner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit I'm not a huge Jane Eyre fan (much prefer Wuthering Heights, and apparently the world is made up of those that like one and don't like the other, so there you have it). But this modernization of the story was really enjoyable, despite being quite predictable.

I have a feeling that people will say "no one could be as naive as Jane", but my cousin is one of those people who has no idea who anyone in Popular Culture is - that part of Jane could have been based on her. The rest of her personality, consistently self-describing herself as drab and incredibly self-effacing might be seen as shy, with a strong dose of 'been put down since childhood'. I don't remember the child the original Jane sat for, and Maddy here is almost a footnote; I kept wanting more of her and Jane, or her and Nico. Nico is stereotypically drawn, but his entourage has some interesting (if fleetingly met) people in it.

Of course, the the book reads like a Harlequin novel (naive nanny falls in love with wild master of the house, things go wrong, she runs away, she comes back having realized she can't live without him) but that's part of the timelessness of the original book: Charlotte Bronte wrote a classic romance.

In the author's notes she says that she hopes this book brings readers back to the original. It should, if it isn't on the curriculum already (it was at my former school).

ARC provided by publisher.

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