What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star?
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 with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
When I first heard about this book, two thoughts went through my mind. The first is that Bronte's Jane Eyre book is one of my ultimate favourite classic novels (right alongside my favourites of Wuthering Heights and the likes of Tess of the D'urbervilles . . .) and nothing nothing could compare to it - not even a modern retelling of the story. And the second thought I had was that every retelling of classic novels such as this one . . . will ruin everything I love about the original novel. When it comes down to this book and reading it in one sitting, I have to say April Lindner did a pretty great job and she followed very closely to the actual book's events which surprised me. However, this modern retelling won't impress me because Jane Eyre is just Jane Eyre and no one can write a retelling that would satisfy me. If you know what I mean.
Much like the original tale, JANE offers a strong-willed girl, a hunky-but-a-very-matured-brooding man, a great romance, a gothic mystery, and of course, there's plenty of drama that unfolds until the last page. Jane Moore, is a 19-year-old college dropout and since her parent's sudden death and with so little love from her brother and sister, she has no choice but to seek employment through a nanny agency and she soon finds herself under the employment of a famous rock star - Nico Rathburn, at his estate of Thornfield Park and caring for his young daughter Maddy. Once Jane and Nico meet, there's no denying they are captivated by each other and a strong friendship is shared between them. But when Jane slowly falls in love with Nico, there are many secrets in Nico's past. Ones that will stop Jane for getting too close to him.
As I began reading JANE, I wanted it to stay true to the original tale but also I wanted something fresh and modern. Without saying too much about this new storyline, I can say some readers may find these events of the book unrealistic. In the original tale many young women married older men, because that's how things work, however in this modern time . . . I just can't see a 19-year-old girl willing to marry someone older than her, especially someone like Nico with too many troubles. Don't get me wrong, I loved Jane and Nico's characters. Jane was just as strong as Bronte's Jane and she had a lot of admirable qualities. She hasn't had much 'love' and 'attention' from her own family, and in some way I can see why she fell for Nico because he actually cared for her. As for Nico himself, he was a whole ball of fun. He displayed many of the same characteristics of Bronte's Rochester and Lindner did a great job in writing him as a rock star, which gave his personality a little bit more edge that the book needed. However, like I said, I can't imagine a 19-year-old girl that is a year younger than me, wanting to marry an older Nico. It's just not common in our world but I do understand that it is a retelling but there is a difference to today's society to the Victorian ways of marriage.
Overall, April Lindner's JANE novel was very faithful to the classic that I've loved for so long and I'm grateful for that. All of her characters had an element of Bronte in them and her words developed a great storyline, without going too overboard with the retelling of the events. For those who haven't had the privilege of reading Jane Eyre, you might enjoy this modern day version. JANE might even encourage you to read it. However to truly understand the world of JANE, I strongly suggest to read the Bronte original before this book. Because there's nothing better than the original script right?
Also sometime this year, be on the lookout for April Lindner's next book called CATHERINE, which is a modern retelling of one of my ultimate favourite books of all time . . . Wuthering Heights. I don't like retellings of classics novels but JANE was pretty good, so I'll definitely be checking out Lindner's next book since it's Wuthering Heights after all. Who doesn't love it?