Jane Moore hasn’t been handed any breaks in her 19 years. Although she’s the third child of well-to-do suburbanites, she’s always been treated as the unwanted “extra” child. When her parents die suddenly, her portion of the inheritance amounts to basically nothing, and she’s forced to drop out of college and take a job as a nanny at Thornfield Park, the home of bigger-than-life rock star Nico Rathburn.

Jane finds herself—quite reluctantly—drawn to Nico. After a great deal of heartache and self-doubt, she learns that Nico is just as enamored of her, and they embark upon a steamy love affair. It is, in fact, so steamy that mothers previewing the novel to decide whether or not to allow their daughters to read it might find themselves blushing as Jane discovers her hidden desires under the very capable tutelage of the brooding and sensual Nico. Yet the sex scenes are not at all gratuitous, and readers shocked by the romance between Jane and the much older Nico would do well to read (or re-read) Jane Eyre—the quintessential story of a May-December romance between employer and employee.

April Lindner’s Jane is a novel of mystery and romance, and the story is painstakingly true to its inspiration. In fact, Jane is not merely inspired by Jane Eyre, it is a retelling in its truest sense. Lindner, a professor of English, certainly knows her subject, and her affection for Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is clear on every page. She masterfully weaves the 19th-century tale into an edgy, modern love story that revolves around secrets and their consequences, and in the process, she creates a story that can stand alone as a well-written and engaging page-turner for readers of many ages.

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