by April Lindner
Love had snuck up on me, and now I could hardly imagine a time when I hadn’t treasured his wry smile, his smoky eyes, his broad shoulders, his voice and its distinct, sandpapery edge. If only I could regain my indifference, but I doubted I could ever get it back.
After her parents die in a car accident and leave her penniless, 19-year-old Jane Moore is forced to leave her university and seek employment to support herself. Armed with her unfinished college transcript and resume, Jane finds herself at a nanny agency. Due to her lack of interest in or knowledge of celebrities and gossip, the agency has the perfect job for her. She is hired to be the nanny of a little girl named Maddy, the daughter of aging rock superstar Nico Rathburn.
Though she still longs to finish college, Jane finds that she likes the living and working arrangements at Thornfield Park, Nico’s large residential compound. She forms a caring relationship with Maddy, her young change, and feels less lonely than she ever has before. She also finds herself, against her better judgment, falling for Nico who at times is brash, unpredictable and moody, but altogether “rock star” handsome and magnetic.
Soon, though, Jane realizes that things are not as always as they seem and that there are dark secrets behind the walls of Thornfield Park. Will Jane be able to find true love or will the secrets drive her from the only happiness she has ever known?
I remember back to my freshman year of high school, sitting in English class and reading the first page of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. From the moment I started that book, I was absolutely enthralled and enchanted – drawn into the romantic entanglements of sensible Jane Eyre and brooding Mr. Rochester. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw Jane by April Lindner on the shelves of my local bookstore this past weekend. A contemporary retelling of my beloved book? Yes please. However, with any retelling, there is an inherent challenge. Will the book live up to the legacy of its predecessor while still bringing something new and different to the story? The answer with Jane is a resounding YES. April Lindner is a masterful storyteller and has created a novel that I believe that Charlotte Bronte would be proud of.
I just loved Jane Moore. Jane is sensible, driven, stubborn and independent. She is a young lady who tells it like it is. I loved when she told Nico that he should keep his earring in to avoid looking too much like a soccer dad – that’s is Jane for you, honest to a fault. But that is the Jane that has drawn Nico Rathburn in, probably for those very reasons. She is so different from anyone he has ever been with or had around. Nico’s character is richly drawn as well and extremely likable. Beneath his gruff, demanding exterior, there is a real vulnerability.
The romantic connection between the two characters is electric. When Nico says, “Jane, you get me. And I think I get you,” I almost died. They understand each other so completely and are so accepting of each other, shortcomings and all. The interactions between the two characters really made the book. I absolutely loved them together, just as I loved the coupling of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. From the outside observer, they look like the odd couple, but to the person who really knows them, there could never be a better, more perfect match.
The plot was well designed and moved quickly. It kept to the spirit of the original book but certainly added some new twists and turns for originality. This is not only a love story but also a dark mystery – one brought on by fame and excess. Lindner deftly winds the two stories together, building a powerful novel that pulls you in from the start.
There are those that say, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I absolutely agree with that, but the cover of this novel is absolutely gorgeous and is what first caught my eye at the book store. I love that it pays homage to the original Jane Eyre as there is an old-fashioned, romantical quality to it. I love when covers fit the beauty of the story that is told with-in.
This powerful, romantic novel is not to be missed. Engaging characters, a tightly-woven plot, well-constructed dialogue, a perfect romance between two imperfect people and the element of mystery make this novel a must-read. You must read Jane by April Lindner, or you will be missing out on one of the best reads of 2010.
Genre: Realistic fiction
Age Recommendation: 15 and up
Release date: October 10, 2010
Rating: 5 /5