Good morning, gentle readers…all five of you! I hadn’t planned on using this blog to review books, but I can’t resist saying a few words about Jane, by April Lindner.
A couple years ago, I toyed with the idea of doing a contemporary retelling of my favorite novel, Jane Eyre. Well, I’m glad I didn’t, because Jane is so much cooler than anything I had in mind. Lindner has recast the mysterious, brooding Edward Rochester as—get this!—an aging rock star named Nico, with Jane as his child’s nanny. Perfection!
Jane is definitely upper YA, (my favorite kind), and it contains swearing and drug references and sex, oh my! But I ask you: how could a story involving a rock star seem authentic without them? Also, our sweet, innocent Jane winds up having sex with Nico, and not the fade-to-black, implied sex you typically see in YA. As a Jane Eyre enthusiast, this doesn’t upset me at all—premarital sex is far less risqué in 2011 than the scandal Jane and Edward created with their adventures in 1847.
My only complaint involves The Ominous Secret. I’d expected Lindner to create something new to fit the modern world, but she used nearly the exact same scenario as the original, and it felt forced and unnatural to me. Other than that, I have no reservations recommending this book to other Jane Eyre lovers; and that’s saying a lot, considering I’ve never been satisfied with any of the film adaptations.