US ARC Review: Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair
Review: 2 out of 5 stars
I had heard about how some of the classics were getting an erotic makeover, and I was super excited to see how Jane Eyre was to be redone. With that said, I am utterly disappointed. I think Sinclair does a good job keeping the tone of the original and although shortened, the novel follows a good pace (I’ve always found Jane’s time with St. John a bit long and boring; this novel stops before that).
I have read Jane Eyre a dozen times as it is one of my favorite novels of the Victorian time period. A testament to the feminist views of the era; I’ve written countless critical essays on the topics brought to the reader’s attention; feminism, female values, equality, and many more. What did not sit right with me from the beginning was the representation of Jane as a sexual creature. “My” Jane of Jane Eyre would not think about touching herself, nor would she sit and watch the maid and butler. The idea of Bertha being a sexual dominatrix is too far from the original characterization. Readers know that sexuality existed in the time period, but to have it portrayed as it was through Jane’s eyes was disturbing. The way the character tells of her sexual experiences with Rochester, was uncharacteristic. Jane allowing herself to have sexual relations before marriage does not correlate with the original character. Bronte’s Jane would have insisted that she be married and his equal before allowing her innocence to be “taken.” I will have to agree with some other reviews that I have read and state that the ending was the best. I absolutely loved the last sentence of the novel as Jane leaves Rochester as she does in the original.
I know this version is not supposed to be the same as the original, but taking a classic like Jane Eyre, the author needs to remain truer to the original characterizations.