Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jane

JaneJane April Lindner

This is a retelling of Jane Eyre. I've never been a huge fan of Jane Eyre and I must say that I enjoy this retelling much more than the source material.

Jane Moore is a freshman at Sarah Lawrence, but after her parents die in a car accident, the stock they leave her turns out to be mostly worthless and she's forced to drop out. She finds a job at a nanny agency and given her quiet, plain nature and lack of interest in pop culture, she's assigned to the moody rockstar, Nico Rathburn.

The main criticisms I've read or heard of this book are that there's no spark and the love affair seems weird and rushed and that locking up the not-quiet-ex wife in the attic and some other plot points doesn't make sense in modern times.

I'm not going to fully disagree with either of these, although I bought the love affair much more in this version than in the original. I never saw the love between Jane and Rochester until Jane's like "I LOVE HIM!" and I was like "Really? I mean, I know you do because I know enough about this book to know that you two end up, but... really? Where did that happen?" I also have NEVER understood Rochester-as-romantic-hero. (I also don't understand Heathcliff.) I do, however, like Rathburn. Lindner goes to great lengths to make Rathburn more bark than bite, moody and secretive, but actually very nice, just protective of his family and privacy. In the end, he ends up being a bit more Darcy than Rochester (and Darcy's a man I can get behind.)

And... locking up your not-quite-ex-wife because she's schizophrenic and mental institutions are horrible places? They're nicer than a locked attic room, and come with trained medical professionals. That part and some others (just dropping out of school instead of loans? Haiti?) require a little more suspension of disbelief, but I gladly did it. Lindner follows the original fairly closely and not everything transfers well to the modern day. To make it work better, there would have to be huge differences with the source material, and that's not where Lindner chose to go.

So... final verdict? I actually loved it. I certainly liked it much better than the original and I just couldn't put it down. Knowing the original material, I didn't mind the really mind some of the wackier plot twists that I would have if it were a completely original work.

Very much love.

ARC Provided by... a coworker, who picked it up at ALA.

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2 comments:

Anna said...

Sounds like a book worth checking out. I read Jane Eyre years ago in college, and while I don't remember all the details, I do remember wondering what was so great about Rochester. I'll have to re-read it and see whether my feelings have changed.

Car 0225 said...

I have some thoughts...Just remember that these people are responsible for the most important things in your life, your children. The reason most nannies want hourly pay is so that we don't get stuck staying til 10 when you get stuck at work, every week, without compensation. I understand it is difficult to find good nannies but keep in mind that the interview is key. Also try Atlanta Nanny Agency