Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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, an iconic 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 tested by a torturous secret from his past.
Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
The last time I read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was in middle school and I barely remember the basic plot line. I'm not a huge fan of Jane Eyre but just the same I was curious about April Lindner's Jane, because I didn't think Jane Eyre would be the easiest classic to modernize.
Jane closely follows the original plot (which I had to "wikipedia" to jog my memory) but here Jane Moore just lost her parents in a car accident. She has no money and couldn't pay for her tuition so she was forced to dropped out of college. She also needs a place to stay and her greedy, self-centered siblings were no help. She applied to become a nanny to support herself and to save up enough so she can go back to school. Quiet, introvert Jane was placed at Thornfield Park where she becomes the nanny of rock star Nico Rathburn's daughter. There, she discovers the secrets of Thornfield Park all the while falling in love with her employer.
I read Jane Eyre a very long time ago, at a time when I was too immature to possibly pick up the deeper nuances of its characters so I'm not even going to try to compare the Ms. Lindner's modern characters to the original. I'll just talk about what I thought of the characters in Jane: At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Jane. She grew up with a distant father, an uncaring mother and siblings who made her life miserable so she lacks self-confidence and self-worth in the beginning. After reading many kick-butt, tell-it-like-it-is female characters, Jane took some getting used to but I did grow to like her. As the story went on, however, Jane did evolve and gained a quiet confidence in herself. Nico Rathburn was dark and broody and a little narcissistic and I don't know how I feel about him--he wasn't a hero I am particularly drawn to but he was interesting. I would've like to see a more natural progression in Jane's feeling for Nico because it just seemed like she was fascinated yet confused by him then suddenly she loved him all in a few pages. However, once the two got together, there was a nice chemistry between them and you root for them to work out because they complement each other.
I thought the author did a good job modernizing Jane Eyre for most of the book but after Jane left Thornfield Park that's when things got a little sticky--some things that happened (or didn't happen) were just too unrealistic for modern times. All in all, I enjoyed this novel and I liked the simple, uncomplicated prose the author used to tell the story. Jane is a quick, entertaining read sure to appeal to teens today. 4 out of 5 stars