Lately there has been an influx of all sorts of classic novel retellings hitting the book scene. There are too many that you couldn't pay me to pick up (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies anyone?), but I have come across a select few that I find immediately intriguing. Ever since I caught the breathtaking cover for Jane by April Lindner and then learned it was a modern retelling of one of my all-time favorite novels, Jane Eyre, I knew this wouldn't be a book I could pass by.
Ms. Jane Moore couldn't be more desperate. After losing her parents a few months prior in an unexpected car crash - leaving her penniless and bereft - Jane is facing the harsh reality of having to drop out of college to become a nanny to simply pay the bills. A decision that leads her to Discriminating Nannies, Inc. and eventually a job offer as a nanny for the daughter of one Nico Rathburn. Even studious Jane has heard of Mr. Rathburn, a rock star of epic proportions who's known more for his out-of-control lifestyle as much as for his music. On the brink of launching his comeback album and tour, Mr. Rathburn is in search of a nanny for his five year-old daughter Maddy and as someone who isn't much for celebrities or popular culture, Jane fits the bill nicely. And just that quickly, Jane is bustled off to his sprawling estate, Thornfield Park, where she no doubt feels like a fish out of water. But as she settles into the lifestyle of nanny and eyewitness to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Jane unexpectedly finds herself safe, trusted and among true friends for the first time in her life. Because nothing is as she expected it would be at Thornfield Park, least of all Nico Rathburn.
I cannot begin to tell you how quickly I devoured this book. Like Jane herself, her words are unique and quiet yet too forceful to be ignored. There is such depth of feeling contained within the pages of Jane; Jane Moore is an old soul who has faced innumerable heartaches in her life - an indifferent family, financial ruin - yet she still manages to see such good and hope in every person she meets. That said, Jane is also unfailingly honest in every aspect of her personality. Many times Mr. Rathburn is baffled by her seeming indifference to his 'sex appeal' - scenes which I found deeply gratifying on so many levels. Tho it's the stunning relationship between Jane and Nico that makes Jane so special above all; the sheer contentment of watching such a splendid relationship develop that makes me love them so. Both are a little wounded and both wind up finding something in the other that they never dreamed was possible but let me tell you, it's a pleasure to watch it all unfold.
Jane is a beautiful and haunting tale full of atmospheric descriptions that enable Jane's iconic story to transfer effortlessly into a modern setting. Knowing (and loving) the original story of Jane Eyre, I of course knew what was in store for our heroine every step of the way, but I was still breathless with anticipation for the actual events to unfold. Because April Lindner basically managed the impossible; she took very specific, very recognizable details from Jane Eyre, but then turned them into something new and utterly refined for Jane. I already know that Jane is going to be one of those books that I will wind up returning to again and again, not only for the truly affecting romantic bits but for Jane's own unflinchingly honest and pure narration. Because at heart she's a kindred spirit. Reader, you'll want to know that I was helpless to resist.
Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
An Addicted Book Reader review
Book Harbinger review
Happy Book Lovers & Co. review
book source: ARC provided by the publisher