Jane Eyre's Daughter

Jane Eyre's Daughter

by Elizabeth Newark

Alice S. (11/13/11): Having become engrossed in the origina l Bronte classic "Jane Eyre" from a young age, I have always been curious about the many 'sequels' and interpretations of classic literature which have popped up all over the bookstores. I cannot count how many versions of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' I've seen floating around, and I've even read a few. However none of them really grabbed me, and I felt that quite a few of them made a mockery of the original tale. It was understandable, to my mind, therefore, that I was cautious when I stumbled upon Elizabeth Newark's sequel to Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" (My all time favourite classical novel). I read the reviews, and I found that most of them were very complimentary, and the blurb did intrigue me, so I decided to give it a go. It is a decision I will not be regretting any time soon. In fact, the book has made it into my very exclusive re-read pile. "Jane Eyre's Daughter" tells the tale of (as you can probably guess) Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester's daughter, affectionately called Janet. Characters from the original novel make cameos, and I felt that the vital characters from the original classic were all mentioned neatly, and in a way to befit their presence in the Bronte tale. A prime example being the 'Ingrams', who Jane Eyre had a rivalry with over the affections of Rochester, and who are no less repugnant in the newest sequel.

The world was richly expressed, and the prose paid a nice homage to Bronte's style; However Newark's voice still rang true, ensuring that it felt original, and less like a shallow imitation. I did have a small problem in the early stages with the protagonists assesment of her mother (Jane) because I loved her so much. But the assesment was through the eyes of a child. And everything came right in the end. Her attachment to her father seemed a tad froidian for my tastes, but once again, the author had an answer for that too. All in all, without revealing too much of the plot, there's not a lot I can say. But please, if you have any interest in the originals, or are just looking for a non-trashy period novel; Give Jane Eyre's Daughter a go. The book is rich and masterful, the characters are well developed and very believable, the plot has many twists and turns to keep an avid reader interested (to rival the original tale, even!), the romance is tasteful... And the ending is neat and satisfying! 4 out of 5 stars. (Because there was no option for 4.5)
Rating: ****+

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