Friday, January 13, 2012

Jane by April Lindner

Release Date: 11th October, 2011

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 373pgs

The Story

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.

The Review

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?

The Rating

4/5 stars


  1. "What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star?" <-- that has to be the awesomest catchphrase EVER!! x) LOL! I still can't believe I've never read Jane Eyre before -- hearing that it's one of your favourite classics makes me want to pick it up! :) I actually love modern re-tellings, and this one sounds like such a fun read!

    Awesome review, Erin! I'm glad that you liked it more than you thought you would and that it stays faithful to the original classic! :)

    1. Awesome! I picked up the hardcover from the bargain bin last year, thinking since Jane Eyre is my favourite book and I do work as a music journalist, that it would be an interesting twist. I was really hesitant to start it though...I guess I thought it would be poorly executed. Anyway, your review has changed my mind. I'm going to start on it today!

    2. Mimi: It's a great tagline, isn't it? Pretty much the reason why it hooked me. I'm surprised a lot of readers haven't read Jane Eyre. *shakes head* It's a classic book! x

      Wanderlusting: Definitely give it a go. It's a great book despite a couple of little things.

  2. I've been wanting to read this for a while, glad you enjoyed it overall! It's nice the author stayed quite true to the storyline. I do agree, though, that I don't think I could believe a nineteen year old wanting to marry an older man. A little odd in today's age! Still, I'll look out for this one. Great review!

    1. Thankfully the author stayed true to the story. The only bummer was the marriage part which isn't believable as it would be back in the victorian-ish times. But nonetheless a great read.

  3. I'm with Mimi, I can't believe I have yet to read Jane Eyre, or any Emily Bronte novel! As a booknerd, that's probably committing one of the seven sins. Sigh. Maybe one day. But this retelling does sound great! It does sound like quite an age gap, although I've known people who were 15 years different in age and found love.... guess it just depends on the people!

    Anyway, brilliant review, Erin! Maybe this will give me the kick up the butt I need to read some of your favourite classic novels :D

    1. Brodie! You seriously need to read the classics! There's no life with a Bronte novel! Anyway it's not to say people don't get married young . . . but not to an older fellow. But maybe I'm wrong.

      Anyway thanks.

  4. I must have this book! Shame, Ive known Jane like forever but havent read the novel yet. I have to have this book. Such a great review!<3

  5. YAY so glad to hear you enjoyed this one!!! I haven't heard of it before but it looks good! I am adding it to my TBR list asap :) Great review!



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