Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Why? I wanted to read something different for October and I though a teenage serial killer in the 1900’s is the way to go. Plus, it’s also a “re-telling” of Jane Eyre, so why not.
A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.
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: I have mixed emotions after I read this book. On the one hand, I did enjoy the concept, but on the other, it wasn’t what I expected it to. Honestly, I thought the premise of the novel will be similar to Dexter, unfortunately I was proven wrong. I really did want a novel that focused more on serial killers and their psychological thinking, instead I got a romantic novel with a slight dead body on the side.
Although, Jane’s actions aren’t excusable and I feel that the author romanticized the killings in the novel, I don’t think Jane is entirely to blame. Considering the position of women during that time and how they were treated, there really wasn’t much choice given to our protagonist. Would I have done what she did in her position? Probably not, but then I have never been cornered and faced with such realities. I guess when push comes to shove, human nature tends to shove back.
Like I said, I enjoyed the novel enough that I continued reading it. I especially loved the ending, but when you think about it, did Jane really deserve that ending? Maybe a lot of people would say no, because of the whole situation of her past, but for me, I think the cruelty that she endured as a child and young adult, I think she deserved the ending that she got.
It’s a great read, I enjoyed the wide variety of characters and even though some of them were vile, I think the author did a great job writing about people in that time period. I think I’ll want to check out more of Faye’s books.