Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye

Deer Reeder,

Click here for photo source  Love the old design of this cover.

Well it’s about time I got down to finally writing another one of these since I finished the book almost two weeks ago! But hey I’ve just broken up for summer and it’s been sunny so… legit excuse!

Anyway, before I sail away into the deep depths of my mind I’ll reign it back to the topic at hand, books. More specifically Jane Steele. Now, despite writing a book blog I tend not to read others myself (bad I know). I let Amazon recommendations guide me because I’m lazy and very picky when it comes down to books. But, when I did read some other blogs I came across this book and I’m so glad I did, for I loved it. Yeah, some aspects were a little unrealistic but what can I say, isn’t every story a slight embellishment of reality?

It’s set in my favourite period in history, the Victorian era and constantly refers back to Jane Eyre and the themes presented in her novels. The independence of women, love and dealing with what life throws at you are some of the themes that the main character, Jane Steele, draws upon from the influential author. Steele is a very independent character having had to fend for herself at a horrid boarding school from an early age, but she is also naive in a way as well. She doesn’t tackle every hurdle in her life with ease and logic but more like what most people do, let their emotions guide their actions and reactions. Every chapter starts off with a significant extract of text which help to show how the authors writing influence some of the thoughts and beliefs that Steele has and therefore were her resulting behaviour may be stimulated from.

Now not all aspects of her behaviour are influenced by Jane Eyre, for the last time I checked, the author was not a murderess like Steele is. Don’t worry this isn’t a spoiler, Lyndsay Faye literally puts it on the front cover  of the book.

“I murdered him.”

So beautifully frank and an excellent way for Faye to capture the audience’s attention. I love how she doesn’t dart around the topic but just straight up confronts it before telling you how Steele is where she is now at 24, around 13 years after her first murder.

The book addresses how different our thoughts can work and how people often blame themselves or are too harsh about their actions when the situation they were thrown into gave them just cause to act that way. A character that suffers from this is Charles Thornfield, the new owner of Steele’s parent’s estate. You will spend most of your time during this book trying to work out why he always wears gloves, the true history behind it all, and I’m not giving any hints as to when the answers are finally given to you, you’ll have to read it for yourselves.

Now I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I am relatively good at guessing storylines but there is an actual plot twist (a couple really if I’m honest) that caught me a little off guard, thus then having to re-evaluate a few of the characters again. I love this when it happens. So very rarely do I not spot the little subtleties in dialogue or events that authors plant within books before the big reveal, but I genuinely didn’t see some of these twists coming. This may have been down to the characters ignorance of them as the narrative is written in 1st person.

Recommendations. So, if you like the time period this is set in than have a read of a previous blog of mine about a book called the Whores Asylum by Katy Darby (it’s not another 50 Shades of Grey book a swear) or Finger Smith by Sarah Walters which also shows the shiftier side of London during that era. If you like the feeling of impending doom or a character’s struggle for love than it might be worth having a little peak at The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (though please don’t get mistaken thinking that these are very similar books because they aren’t, but if you like Jane Steele than it might be worth considering this book. It’s not the happiest though I must say).

-The End-


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