Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

    • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
    • Published March 22, 2016
    • Other works by the author: series of Timothy Wilde mysteries, The Gospel of Sheba, and Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson

    • Jane Steele is the main character who loves Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Her first person narrative is sort of Jane Eyre redux but with a twist: Jane Steele has killed people.
    • The story takes place in the 1850s and 1860s of England.
    • She has an awful aunt, goes to an awful boarding school, and then lives an awful life until she gets a job as a governess to a Mr. Thornfield.
    • You don't need to know the storyline of Jane Eyre to "get" this story. It helps if one does --- though the main character notes the parallels --- but also takes one out of the book. 
      • Example: An early line (on page 1) is "Reader, I murdered him."
        • For the non-Jane Eyre readers, there is a line in that book, "Reader, I married him."
      • And yet, Jane Steele isn't an evil person. The first "murder" is accidental even though she doesn't see it that way. She is not a serial killer let loose on Victorian England.

    • I love Jane Eyre so this was a cute touch but the story could probably have stood on its own.
    • It's not a send-up or a straight ripoff of Jane Eyre. In some ways it is kind of a mystery, which makes sense as the author is a mystery writer.
    • Boarding school setting for a portion of the book! Who doesn't love a good boarding school segment?
    • Recommended for readers who like Jane Eyre, Victorian era fiction that has a modern feel, and/or mysteries. Young adult readers would probably enjoy this better than Jane Eyre!