Thursday, December 30, 2010


I'm not very tight-lipped about which are my favorite books in the whole world. In fact, I don't even usually have to tell people, because they can figure it out for themselves. For instance, since the same yellowed, dented copy of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has been in my travel pack every single summer since I was eight, you can hazard a guess that I like it. Since I've read Pride & Prejudice nine times in the few years since I first read it in the winter of eighth grade, you may have an inkling of my preference. And you don't even have to wait around for me to show you what's lurking at the bottom of my backpack; all you have to do is ask me the simple question, and I will almost immediately give you a top 5 list.

Jane Eyre has been on that list since last January, when we read it for Sophmore English. Soon afterwards, I jumped on to Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (which has a strong tie to the classic), and the Masterpeice Theatre version became my favorite of all of the series.

So, of course, as soon as I heard that there was a modern interpretation of my favorite coming out, I was as anxious to pick it apart as everyone else. Too many times is a book hawked as a revamped classic, but is quickly revealed to be no more than a shallow shell of the story, leaving us not with a renewed love of the classic novel itself, but instead, the wish that they would just leave the literature alone. However, I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, loved Jane, by April Lindner. Like, a lot.

People who have not yet read Jane Eyre would enjoy the plotline, about a young East Coast dropout, forced to seek a new way of life after the tragic death of her parents, becoming the nanny of a rich rock superstar. However, to those of us who have, the book provides plenty of opportunity, not only for reflection back on the classic novel itself, but on the clever connections between the old and the new. I, personally, enjoyed being able to spot the ties that bound the two together, to form the same story that has proved timeless. For instance, St. John Rivers? Named River St. John. I won't lie, it made me smile :).

In the Author's Note, Lindner revealed that she was inspired to write Jane after seeing all of the modern interpretations of Pride & Prejudice, and how she wanted the classic she loved the most recognized as well. You can tell that the painstaking modernization of the novel came from a place deep in her heart. I am so glad that she wrote it, because it allowed us other members of Team Charlotte to come forward, too, and enjoy her wonderful interpretation of a classic favorite :).

1 comment:

  1. Based on your recommendation, Savannah, I HAVE to read it. Jane Eyre is also one of my favorite books of all time, as is Pride & Prejudice. How many televised versions of J.E. have you seen? I've only ever seen the old movie version with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles. I've tried posting a comment on your site a few times, but have had problems. I'm going to try and open a Google account, so I can comment more often. Glad you liked Mark Twain, and - of course - the Junior Mints. Who doesn't love those? :)