My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Genre: Adult Fiction
When Putnam books offered to send me an advanced readers copy of Jane Steele I was ecstatic. The Bronte sisters are some of my favorite Gothic authors and a twist on Jane Eyre was something I definitely wanted to get my hands on. To read this book you don't have to have read Jane Eyre but in my opinion I think reading it would make you appreciate Jane Steele even more so then you would without having read the classic.
Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.
A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?
Jane Steele has become one of my favorite female characters. Shes a strong female lead but still breaks down and appears vulnerable throughout the story. A lot of times I find authors making a female lead who doesn't need anybody, never cries and manages to take on the world and all its problems by herself. This isn't how real life is and even though it is a book and its fictional I feel like that makes girls insecure. Everybody needs somebody and its okay to cry. "Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive."-Jane Eyre.
This book is a twist on Jane Eyre but trust me its not at all predictable. The book sucked me in completely and left me feeling indescribably happy, sad, confused, annoyed, and blissful. The ending was absolutely amazing and was a perfect conclusion to one of the best YA books I've read in a long time.
Most retellings are based on the book they're retelling right? Well in this one the book we are retelling is the Protagonists favorite book. All throughout the story Jane Steele is quoting and referencing Jane Eyre. At some point in the book she says something about how similar her situation is to Jane Eyres and honestly it made me a little giddy. I just adored how Lyndsay Faye made a modern retelling of a classic that is so loved and made me question which was better.
I loved how Mr. Thornfield came from India. The whole other culture feel to the book made it even more appealing. Jane Steele was not your everyday governess and Mr. Thornfield is not your typical Englishman. They're friendship that grows slowly into love is well developed and doesn't over power the rest of the story. Jane Steele remains the same bold hero throughout the whole story and thats something I was extremely proud of her for. But at the same time I completely fangirled over Mr. Thornfield and Jane's romance. Seriously their adorable *squeals*.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. I mean it has everything. It has suspense, murder, mystery, love, a medieval Gothic vibe but still modern feel to it, an amazing main character, and side characters that are almost as good. The way the book develops, the plot, and the conclusion is smashing. The whole book is just to die for. I applaud you Lyndsay Faye for taking on this retelling of Jane Eyre. You have taken my heart smashed it to pieces and put it all back together and left me with my favorite book of 2016 (so far. Trust me I'll read plenty more throughout the year:).
"Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important..." - Lyndsay Faye, Jane Steele