Jane by April Lindner

by Tirzah Price

When Jane Moore’s parents die unexpectedly and her siblings, who have always been distant, shun her, Jane must learn how to become self-sufficient quickly. Unable to pay her tuition, she temporarily drops out of Sarah Lawrence and applies for a position as a nanny. But her new employer is not who she expects in the least—instead, she’s working for Nico Rathburn, legendary rock star, and father of Jane’s five-year-old charge, Madeleine. Jane’s never been especially impressed with the rich and the famous before, but there’s something about Nico that is attractive. And despite his mood swings, murky past, and their age difference, Jane and Nico fall in love. But will Jane’s fairy tale ending be derailed by the dark secret kept tucked away on the third floor of Nico’s mansion?

Jane is April Lindner’s dark, sexy, and romantic take on the timeless classic Jane Eyre. Lindner does an excellent job of bringing this tale into the twenty-first century while staying true to Charlotte Bronte’s original plot. Some names and the circumstances of Jane’s past are changed to make the story more realistic in a modern context, but the thoughts, feelings, and personalities of the characters are still accurate—which can be hard with a story like Jane Eyre, where class distinctions and the conventions of the nineteenth century play a very large role in how the plot unfolds. This retelling doesn’t quite capture the mystery and air of supernatural drama of the original, but Lindner manages to develop Jane’s relationship with Nico into something a bit more tangible and real than what exists between the original Jane and Mr. Rochester, creating some excellent romantic tension. The River siblings, recreated into college grads, are fun and Jane’s time spent with them is portrayed well, but it flies by quickly as Jane moves toward the decision to return to Nico—and encounters a few surprises. Jane is not an exact retelling, but it very well-written and engaging. Those who have read and enjoyed Jane Eyre will be entertained, and those who have not will most likely be inspired to pick it up.

Want a different perspective? Check out Blythe‘s December review of the same novel!

Tirzah Price is a sophomore at Ferris State University and blogs regularly at thecompulsivereader.com. If not reading or writing, she is most likely lurking around Twitter @compelledtoread.

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