What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star?
Yes, what if indeed.
I love music and I love Jane Eyre, so I of course had to read April Lindner’s book Jane.
When a 19-year-old art student has to drop out of school because she has no money and ends up working as a Nanny for a rock star trying to make a comeback, you have the story of Jane! Throw in a wife in the attic and a tragic childhood and you have the necessary ingredients to remake Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
Over the years I have enjoyed other remakes of classics, like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Wide Sargasso Sea, Bride and Prejudice, She’s the Man, West Side Story, 10 Things I Hate About You, and the list goes on! There is something about seeing or reading a favourite story told from a different perceptive that allows you to appreciate it even more. The themes, the motivations, and the outcomes usually stay the same as the original, yet there are always twists along the way that make you stop and realize that you know the original better than you thought!
April Lindner is a fan of Jane. You can tell that Lindner has a connection to Jane throughout the novel. She makes sure that her modern-day Jane is independent, self-aware and self-conscious, artistic, and able to voice her opinion. She also makes her Jane believably willing to fall in love with a clear head, just like the original Jane. Lindner even includes similar scenes of sitting in front of the fire for late night chats, fortune telling, an oak tree being split in half, St. John trying to make Jane join him as a missionary, and Blanch Ingram. I really enjoyed reading Jane as a modern woman who is seeking to make her own way in the world and who refuses to compromise herself and her values, even if it means breaking her own heart in the process.
I think that anyone, especially any woman, who reads Jane Eyre realizes that she is a role model: she is able to be alone, she knows herself, she allows herself to feel, she is able to stand up for herself, and she is capable of loving with her whole self–soul, mind, imagination, hopes, body, fears– and won’t settle for less. Here is a great BuzzFeed list of reasons why we love Jane. Again, another list about what Jane Eyre has to offer to a modern audience, and perhaps why her story was so easy for April Lindner to translate into a modern setting.
For me, Jane Eyre (in all it’s adaptions and modernizations) will continue to be favourite book and the book that has truly influenced me the most. I believe that every teenage girl should be required to read or watch a story about Jane! All in all, I appreciated the modern twist on one of my all-time favourites.
“I first read Jane Eyre in high school, with the sense that I was encountering a kindred spirit. I loved that Jane is such a freethinker and she never takes the easy way out” (April Lindner).
“To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare).
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).