Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published in: 2016
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Find it here: Jane Steele
This ARC was provided by Headline (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
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?
Book Worm’s Thoughts: Overall this is a light-hearted, feel-good novel where good triumphs over evil. That said there are some sad moments and I did find myself tearing up occasionally.
Like Jane Eyre, Jane Steele is an orphan sent to a terrible school by her uncaring relatives and she does eventually end up as a governess however that is where the similarities end. Jane Steele is a completely different character to Jane Eyre. She is a tough survivor with a foul mouth and an impressive count of dead bodies behind her. So while, Jane Eyre is a classic novel about right and wrong and true love, the story of Jane Steele is a great romp where Jane rights the wrongs of society in murderous fashion.
I had great fun reading this novel and particularly enjoyed the inclusion of a Sikh household and vanished treasure to add to central storyline. The romance between Jane and Charles is very believable and even though I knew they how it would end, it was still satisfying.
Here are some of my favourite quotes;
“This was the day I learnt that friendship need not be labeled as such in order to be a very similar thing indeed”
“Were I to picture my honour, I imagine it might resemble a less attractive than usual tadpole”
“Some cities bustle, some meander, I have read; London blazes, and it incinerates. London is the wolf’s maw. From the instant I arrived there, I loved it.”
“And I heard you were a governess, but not many of that set can say bugger with quite so much purity of conviction.”
“We had shared the same tastes once, Clarke and I, moved in twin orbits like binary stars”
So who would like this book? I would recommend it to fans of Jane Eyre, steampunk fans (although it is not steampunk), those who need a light-hearted and fun read, and those who love a good romance.
Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Jane Steele
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