Published by Pamela Dorman Books on May 5 2015
Genres: coming of age, family drama
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Powell's • Indiebound
I am going to start off by sharing a shameful secret:
I do not particularly like Jane Eyre.
I don’t hate it. I would give it a solid ‘Meh.’ And that is after reading it twice and listening to the audio version. So when I heard about the modern retelling of Jane Eyre, I just had to check it out.
The basics of the story are all there. Jane is an orphan, she takes a job as a nanny and falls in love with the man of the house. There is even a wife in the attic (at least that is where her home office is).
That is where the similarities end and Re Jane takes a turn (and a plane ride) to a much different story. Jane does a bit of soul searching; trying to find out if she belongs with her aunt and uncle in Korea or belong back in New York with her Mr Rochester.
I think Jane lovers would find this book appealing, with the gentle hints of the original story in the background. But it will also appeal to the non-Jane lovers among us as a stand alone story.
For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.
Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.