What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rockstar?
This is sort of the question posed by April Lindner's debut novel, JANE (Little Brown Books For Young Readers, available now). But, in reality, I think that the novel is so much more than it's tag line.
JANE is, as you may guess, a modern retelling of Charlotte Bronte's JANE EYRE. In this new tale, Jane Moore, a 19-year-old Sarah Lawrence dropout with a lot of tragedy behind her, takes a job as a nanny. But things aren't quite what she bargained for - because her ward is the daughter of famous, aging rockstar, Mr. Rathburne.
As with the original tale, there is a romance, a gothic mystery, and plenty of drama to unfold before we get to the end.
I'm a sucker for a modern retelling myself. Some of my favorite books a movies are modern adaptiions of classics. Cruel Intentions is a retelling of Dangerous Liaisons and Easy A is loosely based on The Scarlet Letter. The list goes on forever. So when I first heard about JANE, I was very excited.
And also, a little nervous.
Because with every modern retelling, there comes a risk. These stories being retold are much beloved, and a bad retelling of a classic can really leave a sour taste in people's mouths.
This, however, is not the case with JANE - at least not for me. I was very impressed with Lindner's ability to weave in all of the themes and plotlines of JANE EYRE with modern believability. I can't say much on this point, because some of you may not have read the original work yet, and I'd loathe to spoil either for you - but I can say this, even the gothic mystery from the classic is handled in a perfect way.
JANE was a page turner; it kept me reading from start to finish. I was desperate to know whathappened between Jane and Rathburne, desperate to know what secrets Rathburne's estate held,and desperate, of course, to see how each little twist unfolded. I'm a fan of the original, and I can say with perfect honesty that this retelling did it justice in my eyes.