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?
Rating: Narration – A; Content – A-
“Reader. I murdered him.”
This is one of those books that would have passed me by had not one of my fellow reviewers at All About Romance picked it up and rated it highly. Her review and the book synopsis intrigued me and I’m glad I asked for a review copy of the audiobook, as Jane Steele proved to be a well-executed, intriguing and sometimes compelling listen that pays homage to one of the great literary classics, Jane Eyre.
This book is not, however, a retelling, re-imagining or one of those “here are the sexytimes the author would have written if she’d been able to” – versions of the original. There’s no question that Jane Steele – the book AND the character – is inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s classic, and that there are key moments and events during this book that relate directly back to the earlier novel; but this is ultimately a refreshing and somewhat unusual tale that very quickly takes on a life of its own.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.