Title: Jane Steele
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Publisher: Headline Review
Published: March 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Retelling, YA.
Goodreads rating: 3.95
Reader, I murdered him.
A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.
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?
I enjoyed this story way too much!! I didn’t expect to fall so in sync with Jane as I did and the fact is that I wouldn’t mind read some kind of continuation, because Jane was fun and easy to read, and most of all entertaining and magical!
This has been sold time and again as a Jane Eyre retelling but more than that, I find it to be an inspired by novel. There are some similarities in volume one but as retellings go I’ll say that’s it. On the other hand, in each new chapter, there’s a quote or paragraph from the very same Jane Eyre novel by Charlotte Brontë, which is a small detail but one that I find really charming and fun. This way Faye merges both worlds in a fresh and thrilling way that made me instantly love her! (You’ve probably seen that she’s now one of the authors I plan on following)
If I had to find a negative point to this story was all of that Sikh storyline. It’s not because I don’t appreciated it, because I thought it was a really interesting and enriching way to make everything feel even more realistic. The fact is that I just didn’t know anything about it, so a lot of the historical facts and vocabulary caught me off guard. But it’s also this indian storyline which made this novel what it is. It gave it an edge otherwise impossible to get. The arrange of characters taking part in this story and accompanying Jane in her travels and adventures… priceless! The plot was more of a personal diary of Miss Jane Steele and all of her misadventures where there was some place for some mystery, but at the end, it all was a character driven story which I would gladly reread.
You could ask yourself did Lyndsay Faye really turn Jane Eyre into a psychopath?? I would say: Hey there, hold still! I would have done the exact same thing!.
But I guess J.K. Rowling said it best: We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
If you, like me, are a fan of Jane Eyre and I would encourage you to get your hands on this one as soon as possible! Yes, it isn’t the work of a Brontë and you must keep in mind that it is a YA. But is a YA read like non I’ve read so far. Is just too rich to put it in that category, need I say more?? Enjoy your reads!! 😉 😊😋