Sunday, January 10, 2021

Five top 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 crafting of The Wife Upstairs, including:
Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye

Reader, I murdered him.

As soon as you read that line, you understand the ground Faye is treading with her dark and gleefully fun take on Jane Eyre. But this isn’t a beat-for-beat remake. Faye’s Jane is a fan of Bronte’s novel, giving this Victorian Gothic a meta spin that makes it all the more satisfying. Like Jane Eyre, Jane Steele is a poor orphan, tormented by relatives as well as evil school officials, but they’re in for a nasty shock when it turns out Miss Steele has a violent streak.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this book is seeing those echoes of Jane Eyre—the big house, its brooding master and his secrets—, but watching as Faye takes those beats into new and interesting territory, weaving a story that ends up being very different from the original Jane’s but every bit as thrilling.
Read about another entry on the list.

Jane Steele is among Lorraine Berry's ten Brontë adaptations you need to read and Kristian Wilson's seventeen books for Jane Eyre lovers.

--Marshal Zeringue