Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published by Headline
22nd March 2016
A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?
Jane Steele is a homage of sorts to the novel Jane Eyre and there are some parallels between the stories themselves. Our tale begins with Jane being unfairly treated by her aunt and cousin, and as a result is subsequently sent away to school. Alas before she gets there, Jane commits her first act of murder, and this is a path that will subsequently follow our heroine throughout the novel, for Jane Steele is certainly a murderess and as the book progresses, the body count continues to grow.
Running away from the school she detests with her best friend, Jane moves to London to live as well she can. However she cannot refrain from taking the lives of those she feels has wronged her and this is not taken well by those closest to her. Alone, Jane accepts the position of governess at Highgate House, the house she once called home, and believed that she was one day to inherit. The house is changed from when she was once resident there and Jane is curious to find out what goes on amongst its darkest corners. Her employer Mr Thornfield is both dashing in looks and surly in temperament and soon Jane is hopelessly in love with him.
Can she end her murderous past and live happily ever after at Highgate or will the demons of her past catch up with her? Furthermore, is everything as it actually seems with her new employer and those who he surrounds himself with, or does our enigmatic Mr Thornfield have an equally turbulent past that he too wishes to keep a secret?
This is a slightly far-fetched novel in parts, particularly with Jane’s ability to murder and move on with her life so easily but I really liked the parallels between this and the classic novel and was happily satisfied when I at last finished reading it.
Miss Chapter x