Monday, May 09, 2011

No Plain Jane Here

Jane by April Lindner:

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love? An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

Allow me to state this as a simple proof*:

Jane Eyre, a novel = enjoyable reading
Jane Eyre, a novel = Jane Eyre + Edward Rochester
Jane Eyre, Governess = Jane Moore, Governess
Edward Rochester, reclusive, but rich, employer = Nico Rathburn, reclusive, but rich, rock star
Jane Moore + Nico Rathburn = Jane, the novel
Jane, a novel = Jane Eyre, a novel
Jane, a novel = enjoyable reading (for the 21st century)

Kids, I stayed up way too late reading this book and I definitely didn’t miss lack of moors. It is clear from the very beginning that the author, April Lindner, adores Jane Eyre and has fought to modernize the story as directly as possible in Jane. In doing so she strips away the extraneous moor wandering, surprise inheritances, and evil school clergy men, and gives us the story of Jane the girl – who despite her lonely upbringing – has a strength of self that resonates so strongly that it draws in those around her and the reader as well.

Jane tells her story as quietly and cleanly as she lives her life. She recognizes the hardships that have led her to be the governess for Nico’s daughter (with DNA tests there’s no excuse not to know for sure), and drop out of college. Instead of blaming others for putting her in this position, she simply moves forward with her life, living it the best she can with the information she is given. And unlike Miss Eyre, Jane Moore has the power of the internet at her fingertips. This gives her both more information on Rathburn’s coked up rock and roll past, but still leaves many mysteries to be answered. Why is the third floor off limits? Who is the cause of the maniacal midnight laughter? Can a rock star really fall in love with a governess?

Readers who love Jane Eyre (and are open to adaptations) will enjoy the name hat tips Lindner gives to different characters from the original, and be intrigued by the changes and updates she’s chosen to make. New readers can use Jane as a gateway to the original – a way to make the timeless story accessible when reading a classic may seem intimidating. It’s definitely made me want to reread Bronte’s novel (or check out the recent BBC mini-series, or the move starring Mia Wasikowska) to see what I missed.

You can purchase Jane from these fine retailers: Powells, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Your Local Indie, or you can pick it up at your local library.

Book Source: So…Hate to sound like a broken record and all, but I got this at the library. Cool place. Maybe you should check it out (bah dah dum).

* Not guaranteed to be mathematically sound as it has been many, many years since I’ve done proofs and I don’t think I was ever that good with them to begin with. Truthfully all I remember about high school calculus was that our teacher did voices for story problems. Oh, and he wrote X-Files related story problems.

His Scully voice was hilarious.

1 comment:

Rosey said...

I want to read this! Do you want to see the movie? Its at the Fox Tower. I think LOL