Unlike many people, I’m not too fond of Jane Eyre–Mr. Rochester is no hero in my mind. But this twist on the story is wonderful, and I highly recommend it.
There’s a small pile of bodies in this book–no wanton murder, but more than you’d probably expect from a book that’s similar to Jane Eyre. But each one works within the story, and really, any reason to use the line “Reader, I murdered him” is a good one.
Jane has a lot in common with her hero, the protagonist of Jane Eyre. She becomes an orphan, suffers at the hands of her aunt and cousin, is shipped to a horrible boarding school, and then works as a governess for a mysterious man. Unlike Eyre, though, Steele fights back against the trials and travails of the world–she asks questions, she pushes back against injustice, and every once and awhile, she leaves a corpse behind. She’s still a likable character for a murderer, because she doesn’t kill unless she has to, she doesn’t kill just for herself, and she does feel sorry for it. And the people aren’t really stellar human beings, after all.
I’m not too fond of Eyre’s love interest, because he lies and manipulates, but Steele’s is a bit more likable, though he has his secrets. Steele’s sharp sense of humor and fighting spirit makes the dark circumstances that surround her less oppressive than the original. Peppered with references and quotes from Eyre’s story, this is a tribute to a classic than fans and people who’ve never read the book can both appreciate.
One of my resolutions that I’ve actually made some progress on is keeping control of my TBR pile. More books read than new books acquired! 🙂