Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: Jane by April Lindner

Title: Jane
Author: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: October 11th, 2010
Pages: 384
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, an iconic 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 tested by a torturous secret from his past.
Plot: 4/5
Creativity: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Impact: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

What would Jane Eyre, the governess from the classic of the same name, be like if she found herself in the 21st century? When I think of that question, a cross between The Nanny Diaries and The Sound of Music comes to mind, certainly not a Sarah Lawrence dropout who falls in love with an iconic rockstar.

A modern-day adaptation of Jane Eyre, the semi-autobiographical novel by Charlotte Bronte, Jane follows a college student with a turbulent family life who's thrown into an even more complicated web of events when her parents die and leave her siblings with money and property, but leave her with close to nothing. With not enough to pay her tuition, Jane is forced to drop out of her prestigious college to look for a job. She then gets hired as a nanny to the daughter of the charismatic rockstar Nico Rathburn. She then begins too spend more time with Nico, and she finds that there's more to her employer than the string of girls and parties affiliated with him over the years. Soon, she finds herself falling for him. But a torturous secret from Nico's past is about to surface, putting not only Nico, but also Jane in more danger than she can imagine.

I love modern adaptations, and I love Jane Eyre, so I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy Jane. The classic remains a must-read after over a hundred years and that alone justifies how brilliant of a novel it is, so, quite frankly, it would be hard to live up to. However, Jane beat the odds and turned out to be more than satisfying for me.

I found that I really enjoyed the story progression. The original is divided into five parts, but while Jane is one uniform novel, the distinctions between the different stages of Jane's life are evident. I found that this made the flow of events smoother.

The mystery in the novel is intense, but I think that the romance takes center stage. It's dreamy and very much like the fantasy all girls have at one point in their lives about being swept off their feet by a rockstar prince charming. There are hurdles Jane and Nico have to overcome, but I think that they make things more interesting. The hurdles aren't the type you'd expect, though, so the story was far from cliche. The fact that it's told in Lindner's silky-smooth writing is a plus, of course.

Jane is a refreshing take on the classic we all know and love. The same elements of romance and mystery are presented and the story exudes the same vibe as the original, except in Jane, they're fused with little tidbits of modern times. The result? A believable 21st century fairytale that stays true to the original. It's a cross between a YA and an adult novel, so it's sure to be appreciated by countless readers. And reading the original need not be required- even withour knowledge on the original, Jane is amazing in its own right.


  1. I'm glad to hear it does a good job of paying homage to the brilliance that is Jane Eyre! (Although a cross between the Nanny Diaries and The Sound of Music would also be awesome :D)

  2. I have this one queued up to read soon. Glad to know that you enjoyed it. :)

  3. Glad to hear it worked for you. It seems like a good idea that could have easily gone bad. I'm glad it didn't.

  4. It's lovely to hear that this adaptation actually lived up to your expectation. I also read a re-telling of a classic the other day but the result wasn't as pleasant. I hope that I'd get the chance to read Jane to see if I love it as much as you did.

    I'm here from the CEP and happy reading!

  5. This one does sound interesting. I remember reading Jane Eyre quite a while ago. I'll have to add this one to my wishlist.