Monday, January 17, 2011

Booktalk: Jane by April Lindner [Teen Chick Lit; 1]

If you've read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, you'll remember that Jane Eyre is a young 19th-century English woman who has had a tough childhood and is an orphan. As a young woman, she goes to work as a nanny for Mr. Rochester, a brooding, handsome, temperamental, and wealthy man who seems to be single but has a mysterious past. It's part ghost story and part romance: Jane and Mr. Rochester are both intriguing, strong-willed characters. This novel, Jane by April Lindner, locates the story in modern America: the original Jane Eyre inspires the story but doesn't dictate it. Jane Moore is 19 and has dropped out of Sarah Lawrence College. Both of her parents died recently in a car crash, and she doesn't have the money to stay in college. She applies to a nanny agency, and due to complete lack of knowledge in rock music [plus her total disinterest in rock stars], she gets an interesting nanny assignment. She's to be the nanny to the daughter of the country's most famous and most influential rock star, Nico Rathburn. Nico has a past of wild living, drugs, and failed marriage. He lives on a huge, somewhat isolated estate, Thornfield Park. Jane is a good nanny to his daughter, but she's confused when she starts having feelings for Nico, and especially confused when he show genuine interest and affection for her. What would a glamorous, rich rock star see in a plain Jane like herself? And more perplexingly, who has he stashed away on the forbidden third floor of his mansion, with a ghostly, female-sounding laugh?

Jane by April Lindner. Poppy/Little, Brown: 2010. 373 p. Booktalk to older teens [be aware of adult content issues] and to adults.

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