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Jane Steele

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  9,843 Ratings  ·  2,130 Reviews
“Reader, I murdered him.”
A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrill
Kindle Edition, 427 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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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 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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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
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,
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 and while i have a pretty good memory for books i have read, i frequently forget the specific content of reviews after i read
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
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
What fun!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
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
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!
“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
This may actually have knocked Persuasion off its pedastal for my favourite book of all time.

When I read this book last year, I did so on a flight from Melbourne to LA. I was completely sucked into the story and I sped through it in no time at all. And while I loved the story, I was so excited to find out what happens next that I didn't take the time to SAVOUR the story.

That was my intention this time. But once again, I failed miserably and devoured this in 24 hours. The characters are
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
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
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
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...

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
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
Book of Secrets
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca Foster
(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
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
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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.
The Lit Bitch
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
See more of my review at

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
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.
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 :)
Maureen Carden
"Reader, I murdered him."
No more needs to be said, except read it.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Text: "We were laughing through tears."
Me: "Me too!"

This was a perfect book. It was funny, clever, heartwarming, and it managed to pull bits of one of my all time favorite novels into the mix. I was worried that it might be too similar to Jane Eyre and that that would keep me from enjoying it, or it might even make Eyre a bit less beautiful to me. Instead it's actually a story that pulls threads from Jane Eyre into it but never actually co-opts the original story. In the process it creates somet
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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Play Book Tag: Jane Steele / Lindsay Faye - 3.5*** 1 8 Jun 28, 2017 08:55AM  
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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.”
“Though I no longer presumed to have a conscience, I have never once lacked feelings.” 11 likes
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