Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: Jane by April Lindner

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 interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
So, I have to start off with a confession: I have never read Jane Eyre. I know,  know #englishmajorfail #librarianfail, but I'm not unfamiliar with the story of Jane Eyre. I've...seen the movie?! Ok, I know, you're rolling your eyes! Does it help that it was the newest Masterpiece Theater version of Jane Erye? No? Well fine. But keep in mind that, although I haven't read Jane Eyre, I do know the story and I LOVED the version I saw.

With that confession out of the way I have to admit, this book did not work for me. At all. Lindner stuck close to the storyline, however I felt this modern translation failed for the following reasons:

Jane. Our heroine did not translate well into the modern world. Whereas in the original story Jane is this stead fast, level headed heroine, our Jane, who also had these same traits was just so...flat. I found her boring and uninteresting, I wanted to admire her and her strong will to survive anything but mostly, she bored me. It wasn't until she left Thornfield Park and she moves in with the St. John family, around page 286 that I really got interested.

No chemistry. I did not buy Jane's feelings for Nico, nor his for her. The whole romance felt flat. That makes it difficult when this is supposed to be such a romantic story. Also the whole younger girl with the older guy,  felt a little pervy, whereas the original felt realistic and appropriate for the time period.

Nico. I felt he was a poor substitute for Edward Rochester who was a surly, mysterious, tormented individual. Nico Rathburn, on the other hand, came off as hot headed, controlling, and devious. I also did not buy into his feelings or interest in Jane.

Long. Now, I don't have anything against long novels. But there were huge chunks of text that I felt were just Jane droning on. There was a lot of telling going on and not enough showing or doing. By the last 50 pages or so I just wanted it to be over.

I used this adjective several times in this review and I feel it pretty much sums up how I felt about the book: flat. I think this attempt to modernize the story failed. Read the original, hell rent the Masterpiece Theater version, but I'd skip this one.


This is the lowest rating I've given thus far on this blog. I'll make it easy for you to locate some other opinions on this novel:

Disclosure: I received this ARC from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review.


  1. Oh shoot! I've been dying to read this one because I'm a diehard Jane Eyre fan. I'm sorry to hear you didn't really like it...I'll probably still read it, but I'll take your opinion into account.

    Great, honest review :)

  2. Ah, the first not-so-great review for this one I've seen. I think I'm still going to read it though to see what I think.

  3. Aww.. sorry you didn't like, but thanks for linking! :) For some reason Nico just had me doing a fangirl squeal... :)

  4. Thanks for the linkage! I'm very sorry it didn't work out for you, though. I was interested to see what someone who'd never read JANE EYRE thought. Thanks for your review.

  5. Yes, I appear to be in the minority on this one!

  6. Awww, too bad! I can't say I remember all that much about Jane Eyre as I haven't read it since high school, but I do know that some stories just shouldn't be retold, they're perfect as they are. Sorry this one wasn't for you, but you gave a great, honest review:)

  7. Bummer! I really am looking forward to this one. Thanks for the honest review.


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