Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Jane SteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Reader, I murdered him.

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?
My Thoughts:
This was not my usual read, but the idea behind it really intrigued me so I picked Jane Steele up without any expectations.  This proved to be a good thing, but I ended up really liking this one.

The story is sort of what the description says.  In the story we have Jane Steele who meets some unfortunate individuals and thus takes matters into her own hands more than once.  The first time happened as an accident, but it sparked something inside Jane that changed her forever.  How could murder not change a person?  Jane let it change her in more ways than one and throughout the story we see her be as calculating as a serial killer and as cunning as a thief all the while keeping one step ahead of any danger to herself. 

Her road was not an easy one though. After the death of her mother she finds herself at a horrible school ruled by a madman who punishes students gleefully all the while naming the punishments as an act of God.  I was worried that the story would stall here and that the religious aspect would take center stage, but it did not thankfully.  The story does gain a lot of speed in this section and we see Jane grow into who she will ultimately become in those school walls, but er true adventure starts after her and her best friend flee.

Here's the thing though. I really got into the story up until the last 3/4 or so.  At that point another side story took center stage and I felt myself becoming more and confused by historical facts and names.  I am not a history buff so all this was WAY over my head.  I just kept wishing the story would stay focused on Jane and her life.  As I sit here writing this review I still can't tell you what really happened during the war that was described.  I found it hard keeping up with the details with the writing style.  Which is something else that took me a very long time to get used to.  This wasn't a bad thing just something that slowed me down.  It was very downtown abbyish and very classic like if that makes any sense.  I found I could not skim or read fast because there were so many word puzzles.  By the end I liked this because it did suit the story, but I feel like this will turn a lot of people off.

In the end I did like this like I said. The characters were all interesting and I found myself rooting for Jane and her love interest.  I would have liked a better ending for her and Rebecca though.  I felt like Rebecca kind of got the yucky end of that deal and even though I was mad at her for what she did I don't think she deserved that ending.  I don't like big bows tied around every plot line, but for that one I really wanted one.

I think it that I haven't read Jane Eyre.  Yes I know that's not something I should openly admit, but I haven't.  I have read other reviews stating that this isn't close to the original classic so I am glad I didn't have anything to compare it to.  So if you have read the original just bewarned that this is different from what I have been told.  This story in my opinion will definitely stand on it's own though so you shouldn't be worried about that.

4 snowflakes

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I completely agree with you re: the latter half of the book really taking off -- I, too, got lost in the language but then I became invested! By the end, I was rooting for Jane so much!

    my review