Author: April Lindner (Twitter)
Publish Date: October 11, 2010
Genre: NA, Contemporary
Source: Personal Copy
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?
Jane Moore didn't fit in. After facing the tragic deaths of her parents and being left penniless, Jane has to make some drastic changes in her life. She drops out of college and sets to work seeking a nanny job, if only to break even for a little while. But, Jane, the girl who never felt the need or desire to throw herself into pop culture finds herself in an interesting position. Acclaimed rocker, Nico Rathburn, needs a nanny, and her desire to simply survive, rather than seek fame, makes her the perfect match. But Jane soon finds herself very at home at his estate...and she may very well have put her heart in harm's way again.
A few weeks ago, I do believe I confessed that I'd never read Jane Eyre. Well, I rectified that situation and, despite my initial struggle and reluctance, I found it to be a pretty remarkable read. Back in 2010, Jane was on my TBR, but having not read the book upon which it was based, I never got around to reading it. Drawing upon its classic counterpart, April Lindner weaves the classic tale into a novel that modern-day generations will relate to, empathize with and grow to love. While holding fast to its roots, Jane doesn't hesitate to spin us into a world that is entirely familiar but in a whole new setting, time and place.
I've read a bunch of retellings during my time as a book blogger, and I have to be honest and say that most of them really just haven't lived up. Either they cling too heavily to the classics, or they differ to greatly, and I do admit that it's an incredibly delicate balance for an author to manage. Jane Moore was, however, the epitome of Jane Eyre, and that was my first clue that this book might just have the ability to hold up against the classic. Jane is a very plainspoken, true and honest character. She's extremely forthright in her demeanor, in large part because of her upbringing, but this novel gave us a bit of a more lasting taste of her vulnerability. She's lost a lot, and she has a lot to gain from her job as a nanny in Nico's household, but first she has to almost lower her guard a bit. I was actually also extremely surprised at how well Nico embodied the persona of Mr. Rochester. He's decidedly hot, he's a musician and, for all intents and purposes, he's well above Jane in terms of class. Despite this though, the romance between Jane and Nico is delicious, appealing and flawless, really. Like the layers of an onion, we peel back these careful walls the characters have built and watch as they bare their souls to one another in such a true and honest fashion that we can't help but become invested in their story. Furthermore, the author writes with such a steady, confident hand that it mirrors how we feel about Jane. The prose is simple and stark, but it speaks volumes and lets the plot and romance sing through. In fact, truth be told, the only flaw I could mention about this novel is the slower entrance to the story and the need to fully detach myself from Jane Eyre to be able to full enjoy Jane.
Overall, I was really, really impressed with Jane. I think it's a worth retelling and, despite seeing many poor reviews, I think this book was brilliant, and I love the author's writing style. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 and, though marketed as YA, I would actually recommend this to both YA and NA audiences, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction and classic story retellings.