I mentioned in my review of Jane Eyre that I read it because I was curious about Jane by April Lindner. Yay, so glad I decided to read the original first before this one. I feel like it adds more depth to my understanding of the story. I’ve been looking forward to reading Jane ever since the triumvirate of my favorite bloggers (namely Angie, Holly and Michelle) gave such glowing reviews of it. Also, would you look at that cover? Isn’t it lovely? More reason to pick up the book to see if the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.
Here’s the summary from April Lindner’s website:
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.
I love retellings. I like seeing how authors make the story their own while using another story as the foundation. Jane is a faithful retelling – all of the major events in Jane Eyre were there but April Lindner found ways to insert some new scenes to make the story more believable (loved the pool scene). What I really liked about this book is it found a way to seamlessly modernize a classic story while keeping the essence of the original. Jane is still very much a plain Jane – practical, studious and hard-working. She’s a no non-sense kind of girl who has no interest in celebrities of any kind. This makes her the perfect nanny for the reclusive rock star Nico Rathburn’s young daughter. Mr. Rochester as a rock star is such an original and very fitting concept. It goes well with his past as a wild, young man, determined to cruise through the highs of life. Now that he’s a little older, he’s learned from his mistakes and is trying to live a much simpler life. I think it’s great that Nico’s age doesn’t reduce his overall appeal because he’s still totally hot – hello rich, brooding, reformed, rock star! What’s not to like?
My favorite line in the novel is probably this: “Jane, you get me. And I think I get you.” This one line perfectly describes the romance between Jane and Nico. In spite of the age gap and all of their differences, the only thing that matters is that they understand each other and they’re both comfortable in each other’s presence right from the start. Their story captivated me. Oh and it’s funny that in this novel, their first meeting can be considered a meet cute. Even knowing what will happen in general, I was excited to move along, trying to think of how the story will develop in this new setting. I can see old fans of Jane Eyre falling in love with this charming retelling. What’s good about it is I think it will also attract new fans because you don’t have to read the original to recognize how well-written this debut novel is. Can’t wait to see what April Lindner writes next.