Julie's Reviews > Jane

Jane by April Lindner
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Aug 17, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010, fiction, signed-out, young-adult

** spoiler alert ** Ok, first of all, I am a huge fan of Jane Eyre. That brought me into this book with a positive attitude, not negative. I think that April Lindner did a really nice job modernizing the story in most aspects, but I think certain parts of the tale just don't jive well with modern sensibilities.

There is just no way that anyone would think it is acceptable for Mr. Rathburn to keep a schizophrenic woman in a secluded room in the attic, no matter how well he claims to be caring for her or how much he claims that there is no such thing as a good mental institution.

In addition, I find it impossible that he would not have divorced her. I mean, really. It's just paperwork, these days. In Mr. Rochester's time the very fact of a mentally ill relation would have been a scandal, and certainly no one would have known how to deal with her other than to take her off to what would definitely have been a horrifying lifestyle. So I understand if Rochester never divorced his wife because he wouldn't have wanted anyone to hear about what happened and even the divorce itself might have been quite a scandal... but with Rathburn it just sat, uh, less well with me. He could certainly have pushed the paperwork through but still taken care of her.

So, parts just didn't work for me in a modern-day setting.

Also, some of the creative rewriting of how certain plot points happened was very jarring. Jane... mailed her cell phone away from her, concerned that Rathburn might get her phone number from the bill? Not to mention the fact that she was HIS DAUGHTER'S NANNY and he never had her cell phone number in all the time she worked there? What if there was an emergency!?! And now that she's mailed the phone off, she's going to do what? Stop paying the bill (since the bill is going to Thornfield Park)? I don't think so. Every cell phone company charges an early termination fee even if you want to kill the contract before it expires. And it wasn't a pre-pay without a contract, because she WAS getting a bill.

Yes, I think about these things. And I spent just a little bit too much time thinking about them while reading Jane.

Overall it's not a bad adaptation but I missed elements of the original story, and wasn't too fond of the addition of the sexual element. Jane Eyre refused to be Rochester's mistress; Jane Moore WAS Rathburn's mistress, albeit unknowingly.

It's a fun read but I would rather have just re-read Jane Eyre.

*****edited to add:

I would like to also point people to Elizabeth's excellent review here (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...) which sums up all the emotional points very nicely.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Crystal (new)

Crystal thanks for saving me from reading this. that kind of stuff drives me CRAZY! :)


message 2: by Sans (new)

Sans I love that you thought about her mobile phone and the inconsistencies with that plot point. ^o^


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