Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published: March 22, 2016
Jane Steele’s father died when she was very young and she and her ailing mother have been living under the good graces of her haughty aunt and cousin. Once her mother dies, and her lecherous cousin tries to attack her, she accidentally murders him in self-defense. Her aunt sends her to a boarding school with a lecherous and abusive headmaster that frequently starves the girls under his care for the slightest infraction. So she murders him and escapes to London and tries to make it on her own for awhile. One day she sees an ad for a governess position at her former estate, Highgate House, and forms a plan to get the house back for herself as the heir. Who are her new employers and what is their interest in the house? Will she be able to succeed with her plan? To find out, read this exciting twist on the classic Jane Eyre. Recommended for ages 15+, 4 stars.
Jane Eyre re-imagined as a teen serial killer historical fiction? Yes please! Ok it’s not exactly a redone Jane Eyre, but it heavily influenced by the book and the story is supposed to be a confession of the main character written after she has done her “righteous” murders. I’ve never really had the patience to read the original, mostly because the story is so slow moving (though I enjoy the movie versions). Mostly I just wanted to shout at Jane for being an idiot and way too meek. This version of Jane was like Jane Eyre on steroids. She was balls-to-the-wall, not taking crap from anyone and I will eliminate my enemies if they cross me. It was a dark, sexy book and I enjoyed it! I loved it when she was writing last confessions of the recently hanged in London.
I know a lot of people have complained about how boring the second half of the book was, but I really enjoyed all the parts on India, the Sikh Wars, and Charles Thornfield’s back story. The story did slow down a bit as Charles took over the narration, but the ending was rather exciting and made up for it. It was nice to see that Jane wasn’t the only one with a shady past, but I was glad that her and Charles were able to look past it enough to have a little romance of their own.
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Random House on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.