Jane by April Lindner
US Release Date: October 11th 2010
Hardcover, 373 pages
After her parents’ death in a car accident, Jane Moore, a very pragmatic and down-to-earth young woman, is hired as a nanny. She never thought she would end up like this as she was studying at Sarah Lawrence, a prestigious school, but she was forced to drop out when she doesn’t get any money from her parents to pay for her tuition after their death. With little qualifications for the job, she doesn’t expect to get one, but her disinterest of celebrities, gossips and magazines are what the agency is looking for for a very particular job. She moves at Thornfield Park where she has to take care of Madeline, the five years old daughter of Nico Rathburn, a rockstar not only famous for his music, but also for the wild and party life he used to live.
The love story was fantastic and it is what I enjoyed most about Jane. Jane Moore has never been in a relationship before and she’s shy and not confident about herself at all so when she meets Nico, a handsome guy with a lot of experiences, she can’t believe he would even look at her. I loved reading about her uncertainties because a lot of us go through the same thing when we meet a man and we start falling in love with him. Maybe the relationship was more told than showed because one day they pretty much hate each other and the next they can’t stop thinking about the other one and you can’t seem to find where their feelings changed, but I enjoyed all their scenes together and their romance was really charming.
Some things felt unrealistic though. April Lindner made the choice to keep many elements of the original story in her retelling. It may have worked in the 19th century because a lot of things like divorce or mental health was not accepted and discussed, but it just felt ridiculous and unbelievable in the 21th century to keep these elements. Who would keep his crazy wife in the attic today? Only a psychopath…
I can’t compare Jane with Charlotte Brontë’s classic because I didn’t read it (yes I know oops!), but I saw the movie so I know a little bit about the story and I felt it was a great retelling of the classic in a modern setting. I didn’t want the book to end and I was sad when it did because it was an entertaining read. This is not an absolutely-must-read book, but if you already have it on your shelves or something like that, it’s not an awful read at all so pick it up and read it!
The chairs in the lobby of Discriminating Nannies, Inc., were less comfortable than they looked.”
April Lindner is an associate professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Her poetry collection, Skin, received the Walt McDonald First Book Prize and her poems have been featured in many anthologies and textbooks. From Little, Brown Books Group.