When her parents died Jane Moore is forced to drop out of college and look for employment to sustain herself. Through her lack of interest in popular culture and tabloids, she earns a job at Thornfield Park as the nanny. Her enigmatic boss is none other than famous rock star Nico Rathburn, who just happens to be on the brink of an enormous comeback. Unsure at first of her boss, due to the numerous scandals he had been a part of, she soon finds herself irresistibly drawn to him, but not all is as it seems as secrets lurk about the halls of Thornfield. Jane is April Lindner‘s amazing retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre, only this time with rockstars!
I am not sure it’s possible for me to put my finger precisely on what has drawn me into this book, but I love it. I have read it a grand total of seven times and I plan to read it again in the future. There is just something about this story that captures my mind and heart, maybe it’s the romantic in me, my love of the unusual and despite-the-odds romances.
If I am totally honest there is nothing particularly special about Lindner’s writing style, it’s concise and easy to follow. It isn’t flowery or poetic, and it lacks any particularly special quality, but it fulfills its purpose and tells a story you just can’t help but enjoy. There are some aspects of this story that come across as a bit…unbelievable. Jane earns a sweet gig at a Manor house simply because she says she isn’t into the famous Nico Rathburn, and I don’t think she received much of a background check… but hey, it’s fiction. Then of course there is the fact Nico is a huge rockstar and Jane is a little ole nobody. But again it’s fiction and their relationship has enough realism to be convincing and enough unbelievable-dream-come-true, I-am-with-a-rockstar to make you sigh dreamily.
Jane is such a great character, plain and used to being overlooked, she marches her way through life, overcoming obstacles, and following her heart, even if it’s not always the easiest. She faces adversity and often she doubts herself, but her flaws make her real. There was just something so honest and true about Jane. She has no illusions about herself, and at times has a somewhat poor self-image, she doubts and frets, and believes herself unworthy, but she grows and struggles and that’s really what it’s all about. That is what makes a beautiful story, a character stooping under burdens physical and/or mental and struggling onward, hefting that burden until their strength increases and it no longer weighs them down.
Nico Rathburn also won my heart. There’s just something so charming about his brooding manner, somewhat overly philosophical thought process, and somehow humble and yet arrogant ego. One of my favorite aspects about her story is how accurately I feel Rathburn was to his inspiration Rochester, the way he spoke and acted.
“‘So,’ [Nico] said finally. “Be your usually blunt self. Is there any hope for me?”
‘For a comeback, you mean?’
He shook his head. ‘Is there any chance I’ll turn from plastic back into flesh?’
The question was such a strange one that I had no idea what to say. I waited a moment to see whether he would explain himself.
‘Never mind,’ he said” (Jane 76).
He talks so strangely that sometimes the reader isn’t entirely sure of his meaning, but the truth of it is also profoundly there. And Jane, being as relatable as she is, is as confused as the reader is. Nico just has such an odd way of expressing himself, of viewing the world and you can’t help but love him for it as you, concurrently try to figure out what the hell he means.
The way the two complete each other is so powerful and beautiful and Linder accomplishes that spark and chemistry that Bronte created for Eyre and Rochester. I don’t believe in soulmates entirely, but Linder comes close to convincing me. The strength of their love is unmistakable, and though at times their love isn’t perfect, the two learn and grow from each other, and are true companions. Rathburn, in true Rochester character, is at times a bit overbearing and strange in the way he approaches their relationship, but he and she grow as people together. Their relationship feels real, they give and take, and cry and laugh together, and the romantic in me is hooked from the first moment they meet, he in his fancy sports car, her in her plain oxford blouse.
Linder does a great job of bringing these classic characters into a modern world without losing the qualities and characteristics that made Jane Eyre a classic. She is able to stay true to the story, while weaving something original and yet achingly familiar. This story is wholly her own, and yet any fan of Jane Eyre will recognize it.
Parental Rating: 15 and up. There is mention of sex but nothing explicit, merely the fact it happened and the emotions of it.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.
This story is by no means perfect but there is something about it that just gets me every time, something that makes me find myself skimming my shelves fingers finding it’s familiar worn bindings.
Please leave your opinion and thoughts on Jane in the comments below. Feel free to ask questions about the novel or offer a differing opinion. I highly recommend you give the book a try if you like engaging classic re-tellings, with rockstars! You can purchase a copy here.
Also, on another note while we are on topic if you are a fan of the original Jane Eyre, watch the 2011 adaptation of it aptly titled, Jane Eyre.
Mr. Rochester is played by the fabulous Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska is entrapping as Jane. The movie is fabulously done, they stay utterly true to the novel while reworking the order in a fabulous way. The setting and costumes are amazing, and Michale Fassbender as Mr. Rochester may be one of the greatest things to ever happen.
It was on Netflix but unfortunately they took it off! You however can still get the disk on Netflix or rent it from Amazon.