April Lindner
Poppy, 2010

I first read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre in early high school - I want to say it was actually freshman year. I was shelving books at the library I volunteered at, saw it, and decided to read it. I fell in love, revisiting it my junior year as the topic of my first 'real' (college-level) research paper. There is something about Jane's story that tugs at my heart and just calls to me. So when I realized there was a contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre coming out, I got just a little excited.

Lindner did a good job of transferring the story into something modern and current. Jane's a college student who must take time off to work for tuition money. She ends up nannying for Nico Rathburn - the bad-boy rocker who's trying to resurrect his career (and life). Anyone familiar with the original story can quickly see where Jane will go - but that doesn't make it less intriguing. It was interesting to see the way Lindner 'converted' aspects of Bronte's original, making both characters and situations/context relevant and relatable for readers. If some moments feel a little fantastic or too-good-to-be-true, well, that's kind of what the whole story is: the rocky romance between two people worlds removed in terms of social standing and experience. It's not quite a fairy tale, but it's a story that makes people want to believe in the power of love to transcend boundaries. Nico's far from perfect, as is his model Mr. Rochester, but the imperfections and flaws in him keep the story from being too perfect. I feel like Lindner successfully revisited a classic - and now find myself wanting to revisit and reread Jane Eyre once more.

Book provided by my local library.

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