This book has all the elements of a lurid Gothic romance, but it's written to appeal to more modern sensibilities. It has all the murder and mayhem you could ever want from a Jane-Eyre-inspired novel!
I was a huge fan of Jane Eyre, so when I found Jane Steele, I was a little worried that it wouldn't stand the same for me. However, as an adaptation, i enjoy what the writer has done. While Jane Eyre focused on one type of person in the universe during Jane Eyre's lifetime, Jane Steele bounces around ideas of social class and gender. It gives a look at things in Jane Eyre's life with a bit more detail and a bit more scandal.
Although I am normally wary when it comes to books 'inspired' by "Jane Eyre" (sequels, prequels, Jane as a vampire slayer or a detective, etc), I must say that I have really enjoyed this story. First of all, this is not a re-writing of the original novel by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Steele is a young woman who happens to live a complicated life in Victorian England, to have a penchant for murder, and to like the book "Jane Eyre." The story is told with humor and is an interesting foray in the Victorian London underworld, where our Jane feels at ease and where she learns invaluable skills with a knife and with a pen. I don't want to reveal the plot, so I will say that there are occasional similarities with the Bronte book, but this is a far different story. Some important issues are also addressed here, such as children and women's abuse, addictions, or imperialism. I am actually sorry that I didn't know about this book last year, when I took a class on British imperialism and Victorian Lit. I worked on how the distant East 'invades' the tranquility of the English countryside in Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone" and this book shows how colonial crimes in India have consequences not only on the perpetrators but also on some innocent victims. In any case, I highly suggest reading this book (and "The Moonstone").
There are few things I love more than 19th century British lit, but when this book came out, I must confess to thinking, "Do we really need another Jane Eyre retelling? Along with all the Austen ones? Are we hitting up the Brontes now, too? Really?" But here's the part where I have to eat my words, because THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME. It's a retelling of Jane Eyre, yes, but it makes Jane a serial killer rather than a simple governess (the opening pages of the book involve the sentence, "Reader, I murdered him" -- cue heart-eyes emojis here, please) and Faye adds the interesting twist that her titular character has actually read Jane Eyre itself, adding a weird level of meta to the whole endeavor. And this is just so, so good -- the writing is pitch-perfect, Jane is a great heroine, Mr. Thornfield (the Mr. Rochester stand-in, who has been given the name of Mr. Rochester's manor house in the original book, one of many nice nods to the source material) is dreamy and just generally way less of a creep than Mr. Rochester is in the original (no mad wives in the attic!), and the whole thing is clever and well-researched and just a total delight from start to finish. If you love Merry Olde England, you will love this book.
I just didn't get this novel. I am not a fan of Jane Eyre as it is so I am still unsure as to why I picked this book up. I thought it would be darker but it was still romantic, dramatic and not dark enough for how it was advertised in my opinion. It was okay -- but I didn't understand why this story needed to be told or retold.
Where can you find a story that acknowledges Jane Eyre at the beginning of each chapter, fuels the strong independent woman theme at a time when women were for marriage, kids, or whores, bends a good mystery like Sherlock Holmes, and even makes for a bit of historic literature? This novel had a little bit of everything a reader could want with twists and turns, humor, and mayhem.
Jane Steele both pays homage to and reimagines Jane Eyre, except Jane Steele is a serial killer.
It was a delight to read. Highly recommended.
An interesting and well written story about a woman who is both villain and heroine. The book is written in Jane's point of view and offers a fascinating psychological insight into how she sees herself, how others see her and how you, the reader, may see her. Dark and humorous, it was a great read.
Lyndsay Faye writes. Really writes. Writes so well, so intelligently, and so skillfully inhabits the narrative voice of Jane Steele that I'm now reading her earlier books. Jane Eyre accepted the injustices visited upon her.... Jane Steele does not.
A reimaginging of Jane Eyre as a heroic serial killer. Your sympathy is with the heroine as she deals with one blow after another before finding her own happy ending.
green_tiger_230 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over
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