Jane by April Lindner
Poppy • $17.99 • ISBN 9780316084208
On sale October 11, 2010

Set Jane Eyre during contemporary times--and turn Mr. Rochester into a rock star--and you've got Jane, the smart and sexy new teen novel from April Lindner. As BookPage's review attests, this story is not so much inspired by Jane Eyre as 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."

After 19-year-old Jane's parents die in a car accident, our heroine is forced to drop out of Sarah Lawrence and find a job through a nanny service. Because she's more into classical music than rock and never reads the tabloids, Jane is placed in the home of Nico Rathburn (it's better to avoid the fans)--a rocker with a bad boy image and a young daughter. I won't say more and spoil the ending . . . although if you've read Jane Eyre, I think you know where it's going. Still, it's a lot of fun to anticipate familiar scenes and watch them play out in a modern setting, and it doesn't hurt that Jane and Nico have awfully good chemistry.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, here's a creepy scene that Brontë fans will surely be able to place:

Once again, the house was silent, and I felt myeslf drifting back to sleep. I had just started dreaming when another sound startled me awake. This time it was a laugh--low, suppressed, and deep--that seemed to be coming through the keyhole of my bedroom door. I bolted upright. The room was pitch-dark; the only light would have come in between the slats of the window blinds, but tonight there was no moon. I sat perfectly still, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Had I dreamed that laugh? Had my sleeping mind taken a distant sound--a loon's cry, maybe?--and distored it?

"Is somebody there?" I whispered, and heard a floorboard creak just outside my door. Then I noticed something that made my heart pound even faster--a faint aroma of sulfur. I switched on the light, crept to the door, and yanked it open. On the carpet, at the top of the stairs, I saw a match smoldering. The air was thick with smoke, but the blue billows seemed to be coming from Mr. Rathburn's wing, on the opposite side of the house.

What are you reading today?

Also, do you have a favorite retelling of a classic?

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