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Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

By 18:15:00 , , , ,

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"Reader, I murdered him."

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.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)

✱ Pages: 432 (paperback)
✱ Publication date: 22 March 2016
✱ Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I started this about two weeks ago but I've been too busy to keep reading it consistently. All this time, I've been very conscious of Jane, waiting impatiently for me to finish reading her story. The first chapters really did remind me of Jane Eyre, although we start to see the twist in this story pretty quickly.
I have so many good things to say about this that I don't quite know where to start.

Jane Steele is a retelling, and Jane Eyre is mentioned frequently - she is someone that our heroine Jane Steele admires and identifies with. There's a short quote from Bronte at the start of each chapter and they tie in with the story wonderfully.
     There's an interesting mystery at the centre of the story, and in addition we get historical detail about the Punjab and the Sikh religion. They're intriguing and imaginative additions to the story and add to the characters as well, lending them personality and credibility. And really, I did love all these characters. Sahjarah and Mr Thornfield had such an adorable relationship, and that applies to their interactions with Mr Singh too! Charles Thornfield is an interesting Mr Rochester analogue, and I admit to swooning a little. 
     And of course one of the best things about this book is Jane herself. You could call her a serial killer governess, and you have to admit that sounds intriguing. She very much takes control of her life as much as she can, similar to our other Jane. It makes her so loveable and easy to root for, despite everything that happens.

     Added to all that, the dialogue is witty and entertaining and written to drive the story, and Lyndsay Faye's writing is amazing: reminiscent of Jane Eyre, but at the same time something completely her own.
Jane Steele is such a lovely and beautifully written story, and I can definitely recommend it - even if you didn't actually enjoy Jane Eyre too much you might want to give it a go! And if you do love Jane Eyre (like I do) I think you'll appreciate Jane Steele in an entirely different way.
Are you planning on reading Jane Steele? Which cover do you prefer? I can't decide at all - but then I'm the most annoyingly indecisive person you'll ever meet. But I digress! Let me know your thoughts :)


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