**spoiler alert** The prose was engaging and the rock 'n roll additions were intriguing. However, the novel cuts out the spark we see in Jane Eyre whe**spoiler alert** The prose was engaging and the rock 'n roll additions were intriguing. However, the novel cuts out the spark we see in Jane Eyre when she outs at her cousin and gets in trouble at Lowood. Compared to Helen Burns in Jane Eyre, the eponymous character was shown as having a determination. Is she a sensible young woman? Yes, but Jane Moore in this rendition is barely even tepid. She allows her siblings to dominate her, even when she's grown. No fighting back. She allows Mark to hit her, and their reunion ends abruptly. Yes, this is a modern setting and no doubt loses its Gothic appeal, but the lack of fire in Jane Moore makes her little more than another line in the “Bella Swan” heroines who receive unwarranted affection while elaborating on how average and unattractive they are. Jane Moore is somewhat more proactive than these modern “heroine,” but only barely in that she does leave Rathburn.
I have no issues with the age difference. I understand that expectations here vary from when Jane Eyre was written, and currently age differences are seen as squickier than back then when it was relatively normal to have an older man/younger girl combination, but I believe that keeping their age difference could have added a modern conflict into the equation that Jane Moore and Nico Rathburn (Rochester) could have overcome. Could have, but it's hardly discussed, which is a shame since, because this is no longer the nineteenth century and woman are not as disenfranchised as they were in the time of Jane Eyre, it could play into the power dynamic barrier they must surpass. This dynamic is essential in the source: it shows that Jane does not settle for being a subordinate to others' plans for what they believe is best for her. However, there is little in this novel to bring out that flare in Jane Moore.
I also have no issues with them having sex, since modern society is more open to unmarried individuals having sex. I just wish there was some commentary from Jane leading up to it because it's hard to believe that a reticent, inexperienced girl like Jane has reservations about swearing, yet she is not nervous about having sex with a man she's just met. Jane Moore does have a moral compass, but there is no stigma on premarital sex, which makes sense in this time period. Despite it's length, the romance felt forced, and so did the adherence to the Bertha storyline. Modern mental institutions, from what I have seen with family members, are far more caring than in Brontë's time, and it's just out of grasp that Rathburn believes these hospitals to be worse than keeping his wife cooped up mostly alone.
Overall, this is purely a guilty pleasure and I enjoyed deciphering what parts were changed from the source. It was a quick read. However, there were times it held religiously to the original content when it would have been better to deviate from it, and Jane Moore's timid nature in what little we see in her childhood without growth or a gradual shift in inner strength makes her far less admirable than Jane Eyre. The core of Eyre was that, no matter her troubles, she wasn’t like many young adult heroines; she does not sit down and cry, doesn't bemoan that she is nothing when her “soulmate” is not around. It wasn't just about Rochester. It was about, when it came down to it, she has a conflict between her moral duties and her passion, and she would not follow others' plans for her in order to be content. Eyre does not settle. Lindner's version adheres to the sensibility, the duty, but her character lacks a spark, and therefore makes her less remarkable in a time when Eyre's strength would be refreshing in a slew of lovestricken, cowed female protagonists.