My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book is a very good example of a bad habit. The habit of assumption. One assumes that a book is going to be great for oh so many reasons:
1.Everyone is raving mad about it (Sometimes Everyone is just raving mad)
2. That blurb. I mean really. Of course Everyone is going to go raving mad about it. What's NOT to like about -
"A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.
Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.
A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?"
- I actually get excited just by reading the blurb again.
3. Have you seen the cover? Have you seen the tag-line? Woah! How awesome is that.
4. It's a re-telling of one of the greatest classics on earth.
WHICH IT'S NOT!!!! (No Jane Eyre really is one of the greatest classics, but Jane Steele is not a re-telling of that classic)
The first half of the story was great. I read through it quite quickly and yes, there were a number of similarities between the two Janes. Except that the one Jane has a much stronger sense for vengeance than the other one.
"I don't know the term for a child who falls asleep after her first murder and before confessing her sins, but I suspect it is not an intensely complimentary one."
Up until the point where Jane moves back to Highgate House, I honestly believed that all the hype surrounding this book was well deserved and this is going to be a solid 5 star read. Enter Mr Thornfield. Drop one star. The "mystery" surrounding Highgate House is revealed. Another star plummets to earth. Let's drain all the excitement by bringing in some romance. (I LOVED the romance between our beloved Jane and Mr Rochester. So weird and awkward). There was nothing of that disturbed romance between Miss Steele and Mr Thornfield. Damn. And another star simply died.
However, I have to compliment Lindsay Faye on her wonderful writing style. I was rather disappointed with Jane Steele, but I believe it's not the end of the road for me and Miss Faye. Jane Steele had a very strong narrative voice and we all know that a character can only get that from their creator. Hence the 2 stars.
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Any Lindsay Faye books you would recommend?