TBR pile reading challenge
Synopsis: 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?
This was absolutely brilliant. I was hooked from the very first sentence and couldn’t bare to part with it after.
Having previously read one Jane Eyre retelling and being bitterly disappointed in it, I didn’t really have high expectations for this one. But boy was I in for a treat! Primarily, it isn’t exactly a retelling, more a murderous narrative with roots deeply embedded in Brontë’s book. Far more adventurous and thrilling than the original, Jane Steele’s life ebbs and flows in a similar but ultimately different fashion to Eyre’s. The mystery of the missing jewels and Mr Thornfield’s past kept me bolted to the pages till the end.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Jane’s character at first. I thought she might be a bit of a sociopath, but I grew to love her. I can honestly say she’s now one of my favourite all time characters.
Mr Thornfield, I loved from the moment we returned to Highgate House. His sarcastic humour and caring nature are very endearing. (I wouldn’t normally add a historical fiction character to my Book Boyfriends but he’s a definite contender)
Every aspect of this book has gotten under my skin and lives there now. It’s one of the rare stories I will think of often.