Sunday, January 10, 2021

Five notable retellings of "Jane Eyre"

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama. The Wife Upstairs is her first adult novel.

At CrimeReads, Hawkins tagged five retellings of Jane Eyre that influenced The Wife Upstairs, including:
Jane, by April Lindner

Taking Charlotte Bronte’s quintessential brooding hero and turning him into an equally brooding rock star just feels right, and April Lindner’s modern update of Jane Eyre captures the dark romanticism of Rochester and Jane’s love story perfectly. In this version, Edward Rochester is now Nico Rathburn, a famous musician about to make his comeback. Jane is still Jane, a poor college student here who, following the deaths of her parents, takes a job as nanny for Nico’s daughter, Maddy. Obviously, sparks fly, but like his Victorian predecessor, Nico has a big secret.

This retelling is maybe the most faithful of all of them, following Jane’s original story closely, but Lindner manages to up the swoon factor and she doesn’t shy away from how moving Jane’s story into modern times increases the forbidden aspects of Jane and Rochester’s relationship.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue