It’s Octover 1st, Bookies!. The first day of my favorite month of the WHOLE year! I’m not a huge fan of Christmas or many other holidays, to be honest, but Halloween is above all my favorite holoday that I look forward to all year. The candy, the haunted attractions throughout the state, the costumes-all of it could not have come any faster.
Since I’ve been “missing” for pretty much all of September, I have planned a treat for you. For each day of October, I’ll be reviewing books which center around this spooky season! All of these range from thrillers, horror, mystery, paranormal – I honestly can’t wait to show you my goodies. I even have a new “Movie Vs. Book” post planned that’ll center around the novel Practical Magic
To start off, I recently finished Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. I came acrossed it on another reviewer’s page a few months ago and quickly added it to my TBR pile and while going through it to find books to go with the season, it seemed to fit perfectly.
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Goodreads Description: “Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.
A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?”
Review: This isn’t a retelling of Jane Eyre, per say, but is similar where Jane Steele, the main character, narrates her story. She states in the beginning of her adoration for Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel and points out similarities in her life verses Jane Eyre in various places. Only, this Jane is explaining her story of how she rid her life of the antagonists in her life through murdering them then quickly running away to escape possible capture.
I’d like to point out the contradiction that Jane often mentions how she observes human nature in the way people interact and react to certain situations whereas she is not a normal human with human emotions. But Jane actually proves she is human despite her refusal of such a thing. She shows despite she murdering those who wrong her and others, she still fears being caught along with her lover not fully accepting her if he knew of her true nature.
It’s a well-written novel and Lyndsay Faye did an excellent job mirroring the language of the day, bringing the imagery of London’s booming transformation in the 1800s back to life, and the struggles independent women faced in the day. I was thrown off and reminded how controlling the church was back in those days. I have read about it in many books including Jane Eyre, but Lyndsay Faye went even deeper. The boarding school Jane is sent to in the beginning of the novel, is ran by a tyrannical leader who insists upon punishing his students by robbing them of their meals until they “learn their lesson” or falsely accuse one of the other students of folly in order for them to be able to eat again. It still angers me that regardless of a “pastoral leaders” questionable habits and overall terrible maneuvers within the walls of a educational institution, as long as they are giving to the poor and speak of God’s Word, then they are held up high as a role model. He reminded me of the leader of Jane Eyre‘s boarding school, only this one in my mind is worse and he deserved his end in this novel.
I guess you can say the majority of the bad characters you wished had a devastating end in Jane Eyre, you see it take place in a different incarnation in this book. However, there are certain aspects such as blackmail, involvement of a war, and a few twists mixed in which make Jane Steele it’s own book and deserves to be seen as such.
My only negative issues were that Jane isn’t truly the vicious killer she claims to be nor are there a tremendous amount of murders. Her victims were tyrants, abusers, and rapists. The way she portrays herself is as if she expects you to think she’s wicked only I wouldn’t call her that at all. I don’t know if that was the author’s intention or she truly wanted us to believe her character was a cold blooded killer. Either way, it puzzled me nonetheless.
If you enjoy Jane Eyre or seek to add a new addition to your Victorian Era thriller novels, this is the book for you!
My Rating: 8 of 10 Book Charms