Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Title: Jane Steele
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Pages: 416
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery
Source: Free ARC via NetGalley

Rating: A

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Summary: In this Jane Eyre inspired Gothic novel, the titles namesake – Jane Steele – seems to face tragedy at every turn. As a result of circumstances that are not of her making, she is continually put in questionable positions, and the decisions she makes cause her to see herself as not just devilish, but perhaps even evil. However, when she enters the life of a particular household, everything changes, including her understanding of herself and her past.

Review: Where to even begin. There are a couple of things that drew me to this novel initially. The cover is superb. Now that I’m done reading the book, the cover seems nearly perfect. It’s interesting and unusual and classy and somewhat intriguing.

The second source of attraction was the play on Jane Eyre. It has been entirely too many years since I’ve read it, but I definitely went through a classics period in my late middle school/early high school years, and the Bronte sisters and Austen figured prominently in those days. The curiosity over how Faye would tie in one of my favorite classics was strong. The concept of Jane Eyre influence + serial murder? More than I could bear. I simply HAD to read this book.

My first thought about the book was, this woman reads a lot of classics. Her writing is too reminiscent of the oldies but goodies for that not to be the case. And while I love classic writing, and the author maintains that special je ne sais quoi, Faye’s writing is still modern and therefore more accessible. Sometimes books are good because of the stories, but you don’t enjoy the writing. That is far from the case here. I found myself highlighting quite a lot, and rereading certain sentences for the mere pleasure of it. For me, that is saying a lot.

My second thought was, wow…this feels very Dextery. If you haven’t watched the show, you won’t understand my meaning. If you do watch the show, you’ll see what I mean when you read this book. It is, of course, not at all gory, and Jane isn’t really a clinical sociopath (definitely not a psychopath!), but the intention behind her kills is where I find the likeness.

Overall, a fabulous read. Really. This book has everything. Love in varying degrees. Mystery and intrigue. Murder. Exposure to lesser known cultures. Classic references. Marvelous writing. Set in England. Honestly, I can’t say a single bad thing about it.

A book you’d be a fool not to love!

2 Replies to “Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye”

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