I have never read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Once upon a time I watched the movie with a friend but did not feel enamoured by it like she did. Instead, I was more interested in Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility. My friends influence eventually led to my love of all things Jane Austen. But, Bronte's gothic novel never really reached out to me like Austen's did. What was Mr. Rochester compared to Mr. Darcy? I just didn't fall in love the story. Maybe it was too dark for me, maybe I wasn't ready to appreciate the story yet.
A week or so ago I was at Barnes and Nobles, a place that I consider to be a second home. I was there to study, but of course I couldn't keep from checking out the books. I mean, what was the harm in taking a quick break? I just wanted to check out the books.
Of course, though, the books drew me in and my studies were forgotten. Then, a book in particular caught my attention. Jane by April Linder. Instantly, I could tell it was a modernization of Bronte's novel. But, the tagline really pulled me in: What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star? Curiosity got the best of me and I looked it over. The story sounded interesting. Still, I put the book aside and continued down the shelf, making a mental note to remember the title for another time.
I returned to Barnes and Nobles a few days ago to study some more. And, like usual, I couldn't resist to check out the books. I already had several to read, but I just had to see. I picked up Jane and thought, What the heck? So, I sat down in one of those comfy couches and started to read. Half-way through the first chapter I knew I had to buy this book.
However, I was still reading The Power of Six by Pittcacus Lore, so I didn't have time. Still, fate intervened and I left behind the second in the Lorien Legacies book. Needing to read because for once I didn't have too much school work, I picked up Jane and started reading.
I spent all day reading, only to take a break to visit family. Three hundred and seventy-three pages later I'm sitting in my living room with that familiar reader's remorse. Why didn't I take my time to enjoy the book? I had been too eager, to consumed by the story, to put the book down. I fell in love with April Linder's characters and felt a connection with Jane Moore who was afflicted with insecurities and the need to just feel loved.
The minute I put the book down I wanted to start reading Jane Eyre in order to see why Linder was so in love with the story that she wrote this amazing book. I wanted to read it and understand any small references in Linder's portrayal.
Years after I watched Jane Eyre, I think I finally understand the magic of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. It is just as amazing of a love story as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Both tell a story of social classes and both create a love story that has prevailed through decades. But, where Austen's is a little more cheerful, though still showing the absurdities of society in her time, Bronte's captures a darker aspect. And yet, it's still romantic. After reading Jane I could see what was so appealing about Jane and Rochester's relationship. Granted, it still had the fairy taleness about it. But, it also has such a realism to it, that darker side of love.
April Linder manges to modernize the gothic novel well and to bring you into the novel. The conversations between Nico Rathburn (aka Mr. Rochester) and Jane Moore (Jane Eyre) are elequent and honest. I think that's what is most endering about Jane, her character is honest. She does what she knows she needs to do, even if it hurts. She's true to herself and that's a lesson girls - and women - everywhere should learn. Although she must give up the man she loves, she knows that it's right for her, that she needs to time to gather her thoughts. Jane says what's on her mind and is considerate of others.
I used to argue with a friend about Jane Eyre and why Pride and Prejudice was so amazing. Of course, she hadn't read my book and I had read her favorite. Now, though, I realize I need to. I've realized that I've missed out on a wonderful work of literature, albeit a little more somber than Austen's novels.
So, if you're not quite ready to jump into the nineteenth century world of Jane Eyre, then I recommend jumping into the twenty-first century world of Jane Moore. You won't regret it. April Linder may be the sole reason girls fall in love all over again with Mr. Rochester.
One things for sure, I am going to read this book again and to really let myself read it, to enjoy it properly.