Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important.
So begins Lyndsay Faye’s brilliant Jane Steele*. In this clever reimagining of Jane Eyre, Miss Steele, the accidental vigilante, life parallels that of the classic Gothic heroine. Where Eyre does not often reveal her strong opinions, Steele acts of them. She, initially inadvertently, sets out righting the wrongs she encounters, first for herself, and then for those she cares about. Finding herself a governess at her childhood home, she sets out to unravel the mysterious new owner and finds herself falling in love with him. Yet who is he and would he be able to accept her and her black, murderess soul?
Jane Steele is an absolute page turner. It’s smart, mysterious, and thrilling – and yes, it works as a mystery and thriller too, not just a wonderful homage to a beloved classic. This is a novel that runs the risk of being ridiculous, yet isn’t. It is, instead, a the tale of a passionate young woman conquering her demons in the name of love and what’s right, even if it’s not a publicly accepted method. Recommended for both the lovers and haters of Jane Eyre, as those who love it will appreciate the original details sprinkled throughout, and those who hate it may feel this action packed, satirical romance rights all of Brontë’s wrongs.
Reader, I loved it.
*I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion, it did not influence my review. However, my love of the original did.