“If there was something strange in your neighborhood, you could, um, write the Society a letter, and they would promptly send an agent to take care of it.”
The Lady Janies are back, this time rewriting a bit of Englands history regarding the classic novel, Jane Eyre.
This time, Charlotte, (yes, Bronte), is friends with Jane (yes, Eyre), and the two girls are struggling to find their places in a very masculine world. Jane only wants to get away from the dreaded home for girls where she teaches and find a husband. Preferably a wealthy one. While Charlotte simply wants to write.
Both girls seem to get what they want, but (yes, there’s always a but), there seems to be a catch. Things aren’t quite what they seem with the dashing Mr. Rochester and Charlotte will do anything to get the real story. Even if that means finding her way onto a team of ghost hunters known as the Society.
Alexander works for the Society. He’s a ghost hunter. He’s also a recruiter. When he tries to recruit Jane, he ends up getting Charlotte, which isn’t exactly what he wants. But is it what he needs?
“Reader, there will be murder. Mayhem. Conspiracy. And, of course, romance.”
For those of you that read My Lady Jane, you’ll know the wit and humor these ladies bring to their books. My Plain Jane is told with that same tongue-in-cheek tone and will definitely have you chuckling at the antics of both the characters and the narrators.
I will admit it’s been a seriously hot minute (okay, decade-ish) since I’ve read Jane Eyre. So, I wasn’t as familiar with the story as I was with the story of Lady Jane Grey. It’s not that you need to know the novel to enjoy this book, but understanding all the little nuances and references in My Lady Jane is part of what made it so fun to read for me. I didn’t quite feel the same connection with My Plain Jane, and it could have been that lack of familiarity with the story.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the story. Because I did. It was a fun, fast read, that had me laughing at multiple points throughout the plot. Adding ghosts, and murder, and general mayhem to ANY Victorian era novel is a win, as far as I’m concerned. And, the authors do an exceptional job making the book feel classic with a very modern edge. It’s cheeky. It’s playful. It’s very, very fun.
“It was not a magical book (although we would argue, dear reader, that all books are slightly magical), but it was certainly useful.”
Another nod to the achievement of the authors, is how reading this book did trigger my desire to pick up the original novel, Jane Eyre. I found myself wondering how close the plots were (outside of the obvious changes), and I think that is always a sign of a good retelling. Again, it didn’t take away from my original enjoyment, but I do think it would have deepened my enjoyment had I been more familiar with the classic work.
In all, this is a perfect summer book. It’s light, it’s fun, it will make you smile while you read in any setting. I like books that are easy to read when the sun makes even breathing feel like effort, and My Plain Jane is for sure an easy, distracting, and highly enjoyable novel! If you loved My Lady Jane, you will once again be swooning for the humor and creativity these ladies bring to their narration.
Huge thank you to BookSparks for sending me a copy as part of their #YAsummerreads #readbythesea2018 book blog tour!!!