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Jane Steele

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  11,621 ratings  ·  2,434 reviews
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 r
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Headline Review
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Gerard Villegas You wound me Lady Caitlyn to assume such a genre to be accepted so widely among the young adult set. The themes are quite adult I assure you and…moreYou wound me Lady Caitlyn to assume such a genre to be accepted so widely among the young adult set. The themes are quite adult I assure you and certainly representative of Victorian mores and values of the time period. Even the most disagreeable of the harshest critics would agree that the wit and prose targets a society of an older audience. Nevertheless, a person of the most alienable nature like myself would recommend such work to a teenage parlor of the most widely read and the most ambitious of the curious lot who are great admirers of the iconic Jane Eyre. I implore you, madam, to subject yourself to the wonders of Jane Steele and be inspired by character who is more than stock archetype serial murderess but a vengeful angel of justice. (Plus, it's a damn good story! LOL!)(less)
Rebecca Speas You should be absolutely fine. I have never read Jane Eyre, and enjoyed this book immensely. There are more than a few winks and nods to Jane Eyre in…moreYou should be absolutely fine. I have never read Jane Eyre, and enjoyed this book immensely. There are more than a few winks and nods to Jane Eyre in Jane Steele, but if you have even a basic knowledge of the plot of JE, you'll most likely catch them (like I did.) However, they don't detract from the plot of JS at all, so I would say go ahead and read it as soon as it comes out! :-)(less)

Community Reviews

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3.92  · 
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 ·  11,621 ratings  ·  2,434 reviews


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Emily May
The first 1/3-1/2 of this book was really great.

Jane Steele is being called a retelling of Jane Eyre, but it isn't. The narrator presents the story as an autobiography and claims to have read Bronte's most famous novel and "the work inspires me to imitative acts". And Jane Steele's life does indeed resemble that of Jane Eyre.

But with a huge twist - a lot more blood, murder and vengeance.

Regardless of whether you like Jane Eyre or not (and I do), it's hard to not be pulled in by Jane Steele's nar
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
It was the boarding school that taught me to act as a wolf in girl’s clothing should: skulking, a greyer shadow within a grey landscape. It was London which formed me into a pale, wide-eyed creature with an errant laugh, a lust for life and for dirty vocabulary, and a knife in her pocket.

I hereby commence my account with the unembellished truth:

Reader, I murdered him.
This is a very, very loose retelling of Jane Eyre in which Jane is a serial killer. And reader, it was awesome! If you're very,
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karen
Oh, I knew who I was - a scarlet-toothed tigress, one forever burdened by the iron weight of her own black stripes.

many thanks to the great anmiryam for passing this arc my way, because it was so exactly what i wanted to read, i don't even feel bad about letting it cut the line of book-suitors already vying for my attentions.

i read a lot of reviews here on goodreads.com. and while i have a pretty good memory for books i have read, i frequently forget the specific content of reviews after i read
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Julie
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jane Steel by Lyndsay Faye is a 2016 G. P. Putnam’s Sons publication.

There are only a few times in my life when I’ve honestly felt as though an author sat down and penned a book just for me. This is one of those times…

While marketed as a ‘retelling’ of Jane Eyre, in truth, our protagonist, Jane Steele, sees a dark parallel between her life and that of Jane Eyre, and is inspired to write her own memoir, so technically it’s not really a ‘retelling’ in the way we commonly refer to it.

But, as a hu
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Linda
I received a copy of Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye through NetGalley. Thank you to both NetGalley and to Lyndsay Faye for the opportunity.

"Truth be told.....nay, never here."

If you easily get your petticoat in a bundle, then this book is certainly not for you. 'Nuff said, dear reader.

And then in walks a dark, slight figure of a young girl who traipses across these pages on silent tiptoe like the vermin in the underbelly of old London. Although innocence is her Victorian calling card, bold reality
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Jaline
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This book enchanted me. It reminded me of how passionate I was about learning to read when I was 5 or 6 so that I could read all the stories I wanted to whenever I wanted to and not have to wait my turn to have my parents read them to me.

It also reminded me of my first impressions of classics such as the writings of the Bronte sisters and Daphne duMaurier. Yes, there was darkness there; yet juxtaposed with light. There was romance and the struggle away from and toward it. There was murder and ma
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Melanie


“Reader, I murdered him.”

I’m going to try to keep this review short, mostly because it depresses me to think that I actually am giving this such a low rating. Out of all the books on my "Must Read of 2018" list, I was most excited for this one. I was also the most positive that I would five star it, but here we are.

I also read Jane Eyre this year in preparation for this book that celebrates that story, which is even more funny because I ended up five starring it. Sadly, Jane Steele did a go
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April (Aprilius Maximus)
I'm going to have to apologise in advance because I will be FOREVER fangirling over Charles Thornfield.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
What a wild ride! While I enjoyed the first half of this far more than the second, I still really liked this as a whole and am v happy to have read it. Honestly this would have been a 5 star if I hadn’t been bored and a little confused by all the war elements that were introduced in the second half lol but I loved all the characters and will happily read more from Lyndsay Faye in the future!
K.
Trigger warnings: murder, child abuse, blood, domestic violence, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, miscarriage, death of a parent, grooming, sexual harassment, war.

13/9/2018
This honestly is my favourite book of all time. I love how it parallels Jane Eyre. I love how fierce Jane Steele is as a character. I honestly love how you come to realise that there's a theme to the murders she commits. I love how well Faye captures the dark gothic feel of Jane Eyre. I love how heavily it involves Sikh culture, and
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Malia
“I hope that the epitaph of the human race when the world ends will be: Here perished a species which lived to tell stories.”
― Lyndsay Faye, Jane Steele
My first five star read in what feels like ages! I was so hesitant to pick this up, because Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites and I am always wary of retellings. In this case, however, it was worth it. The story is essentially a Gothic reworking of the famous story, but with a few significant changes to give it a character of its own. We
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Simona Bartolotta
“I hope that the epitaph of the human race when the world ends will be: Here perished a species which lived to tell stories.”

•Well, I was certainly not expecting this. This ultimately, absorbingly, fiercely, lusciously phenomenal reimagining of one of the greatest and most influential classics of my life (and, incidentally, of English literature too, of course). The strength of Jane Steele is that it styles itself not as the story of an alternative Jane Eyre, but of a parallel one. In the book
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Liz Barnsley
LOVED this book. Loved the concept, loved the execution, the characters and every other little bit. A whole lot of fun and a real rip roaring read.

Jane Steele – what an incredible character. Unforgettable she stalks the streets of old London, Lyndsay Faye building a supreme sense of atmosphere and making you walk those paths too, alongside this enigmatic, ironically funny and intriguing creation, who surprises and delights at every turn of the page.

If you are a fan of Jane Eyre, then you’ll tho
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Book Riot Community
This Victorian novel follows Jane Steele, an orphan whose life mirrors that of her favorite literary heroine, Jane Eyre. Their paths diverge at this one fine point, however: Jane Steele is a serial killer. She uses her wit, nerves, and slight sociopathy to off abusive men, all the while wondering what would Jane Eyre think? This book scratched all my favorite itches: Victoriana, feminist rage, and excellent, gut-punch sentences. You’ll love this Jane just as much as you love the original. –Amand ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
JANE STEELE is not a typical retelling; sure it bares similarities with Jane Eyre; Jane Steele is an orphan, she ends up in a boarding school with a cruel schoolmaster and she works as a governess later on in life. What I like is that Jane Steele likes and identifies herself with Jane Eyre. She feels like they are kindred spirits. But unlike Jane Eyre who was called wicked, Jane Steele is fearful that she really is wicked. Because she has after all done wicked things...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIE
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Helene Jeppesen
Like so many other people, I love "Jane Eyre" and I consider it my favourite classic. Naturally, I was interested to read "Jane Steele" which is based on the story of "Jane Eyre", but which contains a protagonist who's a murderer.
The life of Jane Steele very much reflects the life of Jane Eyre, but her cravings for murdering makes her mysterious as well as intriguing to read about. The first part of the novel, in which we are introduced to this alternate protagonist, was the strongest in my opi
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Book of Secrets
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reader, I murdered him. With a tagline like that, how could I resist? I absolutely loved this book! JANE STEELE is a dark retelling of the Brontë classic, JANE EYRE. Granted, the original was already pretty dark, but JANE STEELE takes it to a whole new level.

Like me, Jane Steele is a huge fan of Jane Eyre, and in many ways her life mirrors that of her favorite character. Only, Miss Steele is a wee bit of a sociopath (hence the tagline), but in the best way possible! When she sees an injustice, s
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Ashley Daviau
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I read the first line of this book my attention was INSTANTLY captured and I needed to know more right away. I had no idea what this book was about, I even mistakenly though it was YA fiction which is pretty funny because it couldn’t be farther from that! This is a dark and twisted reimagining of Jane Eyre and I honestly couldn’t have loved it more! It totally surprised me and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what nefarious deeds Jane would fall into next. Even if you’re n ...more
Susan
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very clever re-working of “Jane Eyre,” with a heroine whose life mirrors that of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. It is not necessary for you to have read, “Jane Eyre,” as there are snippets littered throughout the novel; but, if you are familiar with the storyline, it will help you appreciate all the links between the plot and characters. So often you find novels now which act as sequels to well known classics or give an alternate take, but this really is something different.

Jane St
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Christopher
I am rubbish at reviews, so let's try this...

Knowing the reviewer is essential to a useful review. Here is some about me and how it affects my feelings on this book.

1) I love Lyndsay Faye. I don't actually read what her books are about before pre-ordering them. I may be biased towards liking this due to my history of enjoying everything I've read of hers previously.

2) The entirely of my knowledge about Jane Eyre comes from the five minutes I spent on Wikipedia right before reading this. I don't
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Paromjit
This is a scintillating take on Jane Eyre that takes in love, intrigue, suspense and twists. Jane Steele has much that echoes the original, but she is an alternate take on her as she is a murderer. Not your everyday killer, but one who only strikes when there is good reason. Jane is brave, and an extremely likeable person with bags of attitude. Her illustrious murders begin with her creepy cousin, Edwin.

Griefstricken after the early demise of her beloved mother, Jane finds herself in at a schoo
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Rebecca
(DNF @ 22%) Jane Steele is not quite Jane Eyre, though her life seems to mirror that of Brontë’s heroine in most particulars. How she differs is in her violent response to would-be sexual abusers. She’s a feminist vigilante wreaking vengeance on her enemies, whether her repulsive cousin or the vindictive master of “Lowan Bridge” (= Cowan Bridge, Brontë’s real-life school + Lowood, Jane Eyre’s). I stopped reading because I didn’t honestly think Faye was doing enough to set her book apart. “Reader ...more
♥Rachel♥
Jan 08, 2016 added it
Shelves: dnf
I had high hopes for Jane Steele, a re-telling of Jane Eyre, my favorite classic, but getting to the 12% mark took me ages. The writing was driving me absolutely nuts, and I just can’t go on. There are sooo many similes and metaphors used! It seemed like every other sentence, and entirely too much for me. It’s completely distracting, stalling the flow of the plot for me, making it so I can’t get into the story at all.

My opinion seems to be in the minority, though.

A copy was kindly provided by P
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Riley
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“I relate to this story almost as I would a friend or a lover - at times I want to breathe its entire alphabet into my lungs, and at others I should prefer to throw it across the room.”

This quote perfectly encapsulates how I felt while reading this book. I don't think I have ever loved a heroine quite like I love Jane. She is the murderess of my dreams.
Mara
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-owned
I found myself pleasantly surprised by what this turned out to be-- a unique book, I think, that is not without flaws, but was ultimately enjoyable and quite poignant by the end. This made me think of JANE EYRE in a slightly new light, as well, which I always appreciate from a retelling or new take on a classic
Quirkyreader
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this story. Think of a more aggressive Jane Eyre who has a thing for murder.

This story is full of so much dark humour, that I kept wanting even more. Many heads roll in this story. Bit of a spoiler, not all the heads roll of characters readers would like to see dispatched.

Lyndsay Faye has drawn upon a much beloved classic and made it her own.
The Lit Bitch
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might come as a shock to a lot of you but I wasn’t necessarily a HUGE fan of Jane Eyre. I mean practically the whole first half of the book was all about Jane’s childhood and I felt like that could have been done away with for the most part. So when I started Jane Steele and found that a large portion was about her childhood, I was a little worried that it would be similar to Jane Eyre in that a large part of the book would be about her childhood.

Thankfully, Faye does not focus on Jane’s ch
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Jen Ryland
First off, I still think this should have been called "Jane Slayer." But maybe that's too campy a title for a book that's a) more inspired by Jane Eyre than a retelling and b) a pretty intellectual story, in spite of the gore.

I agree with other readers that this book seemed to have two parts: the first third or so was more bildungsroman, featuring a young Jane who, instead of seething internally about having to endure heartless relatives and a cruel boarding school, becomes a serial murderer. As
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Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
I enjoyed this one so much more than I thought I would!

A fantastic female character, beautiful writing and a really engaging plot. Lindsay Faye proves that just because a book is historical, doesn't mean it shouldn't/can't be diverse.

Also, I totally shipped the romance :)
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
See more of my review at www.litwitwineanddine.com

Jane Steele is a well-written, fun, and quirky read. I haven't read Jane Eyre and wondered if it would make a difference in my ability to follow the book. It didn't. Each chapter begins with a passage from Jane Eyre but this book is its own story and you won't be impeded in any way if you haven't read it. (Though I wonder at how I, calling myself a reader, could have made it this many years without having read one of the great classics.)

Jane's s
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Play Book Tag: Jane Steele - Reader, I murdered him by Lyndsay Faye - 5 stars 3 24 Jun 06, 2019 03:03PM  
Around the Year i...: Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye 1 13 Jan 01, 2019 12:08PM  
Books and Jams Re...: Volume 3 5 19 Mar 23, 2018 08:35PM  
Books and Jams Re...: Volume 1 11 33 Mar 14, 2018 07:29AM  
Books and Jams Re...: Who's Here? 13 25 Mar 11, 2018 06:47PM  
The Challenge Fac...: Krissy, Leo and Runell - Jane Steele 16 15 Nov 23, 2017 08:05PM  
#BookClubFix: Jane Steele questions 3 23 Aug 19, 2017 02:34PM  

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“I hope that the epitaph of the human race when the world ends will be: Here perished a species which lived to tell stories.

We tell stories to strangers to ingratiate ourselves, stories to lovers to better adhere us skin to skin, stories in our heads to banish the demons. When we tell truth, often we are callous; when we tell lies, often we are kind. Through it all, we tell stories, and we own an uncanny knack for the task.”
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“And in a way I have always thought that words are alive a little, for they can whisper sweet nothings and roar dragon flame with equal efficiency.” 14 likes
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