Release date: October 11, 2010
Format: Advance Reader's Copy
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What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star?Oh, how I wanted to just love this. I enjoyed it, but that was only because of the threads of Jane Eyre that were woven into the story. I was more interested in figuring out who was supposed to be whom than the actual story. Jane Eyre is my favorite book. Ever. So I can't take a modernized version lightly.
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, a world-famous 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 soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?
Jane follows the original story very closely, mostly only changing details that wouldn't work in today's society. Most character's names are mostly similar and work fine to me. I wanted to laugh every time I heard our modern Mr. Rochester's name: Nico. Where did that come from?? I understand he's supposed to be a rock star, but he could easily have a normal name. In the original, Mr. Rochester's name is Edward, a very traditional name. I think Mr. Rathburn's name could have been in the same vein: classic. BLEH.
I thought the story was interesting enough, and worked decently well as a modern version of Jane's situation. I thought Maddy (Adele in the original) was cute, if underused and without the depth I always thought Adele had.
My biggest qualm really lies with Jane herself. Something in Jane's character was lost in the retelling. Jane Eyre is such an enduring character because of her integrity and strength in making the tough choices she makes. She defies the ideas of her times and does what she thinks is best. This is why I love her. But Jane Moore doesn't have that spirit. There's something lacking there, and I can't get over it. This is really what barred me from liking the book in its own right. If her character had been captured, or even had a different, more modern spin, I could've overlooked the other things.
Risk a paper cut? Fans of Jane Eyre may not completely enjoy it, but I think it's worth the time. Those who may be afraid of reading Jane Eyre might find it a good way to get into the story, though the original is infinitely superior.