Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Is there any chance I'll turn from plastic back to flesh?” - Nico Rathburn

Jane – April Lindner

373 pages

Genre:  Updated Classic; Realistic Fiction; Romance

Summary:  Jane is a modern-day retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s classic, Jane Eyre.  In this adaptation, Jane Moore is a shy, college girl who is forced to drop out of school because of a family tragedy that has made her unable to finance her education anymore.  She decides to pursue becoming a nanny in order to keep herself afloat for the foreseeable future, and because of her discreet nature, she is paired up with a rock star named Nico Rathburn.  After spending time with Nico and his daughter, Maddy, Jane finds that her feelings for Nico are changing; somewhere along the way, she began to fall in love with him.  Nico, however, has a terrible secret that few people know about, and practical Jane’s emotions become even more conflicted.  Will her feelings be reciprocated, and will she ever discover what Nico is hiding?

Review:  Most people that know me well know about my love for Jane EyreJane Eyre is definitely my favorite classic, and in all honesty, it may be my favorite book…ever.  I’ve always been drawn to Jane’s inner strength and how she easily puts Rochester in his place, and every time I read the book, it’s like I’m reading it for the first time. When I saw Jane sitting on the shelf, it beckoned to me like a siren’s call; I knew I had to have it.  Since I do love Jane Eyre so much, however, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like Lindner’s updated version, but much to my delight, I really enjoyed it.

Turning the brooding Rochester into internationally recognized rock star Nico Rathburn was a really clever way to update the character, and it truly highlighted just how different Jane and Nico really were.  Nico was rather complex, mysterious, and kept secrets hidden from most everyone, which made him incredibly compelling to read about.  I also loved the addition of Maddy to the story, as she was extremely likeable, and in some ways, reminded me of Jane. 

Jane Moore was definitely similar to the Jane Eyre I’ve come to know and love, but they also differed quite a bit, too.  While both were strong and serious, Jane Moore was a bit more emotional than Jane Eyre, but I didn’t think that was necessarily a bad thing; they were just different.  There were also a couple of instances in which I questioned some of Jane Moore’s decisions, as they seemed a bit out of character, especially as it relates to things that happened with Nico (I don’t want to be too specific, just in case you aren’t familiar with the story), but it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the book.

In my opinion, the treatment of the Bertha character in Jane (Bibi) didn’t work quite as well as it did in Jane Eyre, mostly because that situation didn’t really translate well to the present day.  The author did a great job in capturing the deranged personality, however, and the scenes with Bibi were definitely interesting.

Ultimately, this was a rather great re-telling of Jane Eyre that kept me interested from beginning to end.  If you’re interested in classics, or are looking for a book with tons of twists, turns, and romance, definitely give Jane a try.  Jane has inspired me to read Jane Eyre again, and I can’t wait to read more by April Lindner.

*There is a little bit of sexual content in this book, so if that makes you uncomfortable, proceed with caution.

Rating:  4/5

Read-alikes:  Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte, Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys, The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

For another perspective, check out Nori's review:  Jane


  1. I'm so glad that you liked this one! I liked it too! And I totally agree with you about the wife thing...Thanks for the link! And I kind of want to read the original again soon too.