This powerful reimagining of Jane Eyre, set in a modern-day law firm, is full of romance and hope as it follows the echoing heartbeats of the classic story.
A former foster kid, Jane has led a solitary life as a waitress in the suburbs, working hard to get by. Tired of years of barely scraping together a living, Jane takes classes to become a legal assistant and shortly after graduating accepts a job offer at a distinguished law firm in downtown Toronto. Everyone at the firm thinks she is destined for failure because her boss is the notoriously difficult Edward Rosen, the majority stakeholder of Rosen, Haythe & Thornfield LLP. But Jane has known far worse trials and refuses to back down when economic freedom is so close at hand.
Edward has never been able to keep an assistant—he’s too loud, too messy, too ill-tempered. There’s something about the quietly competent, delightfully sharp-witted Jane that intrigues him though. As their orbits overlap, their feelings begin to develop—first comes fondness and then something more. But when Edward’s secrets put Jane’s independence in jeopardy, she must face long-ignored ghosts from her past and decide if opening her heart is a risk worth taking.
Though Edwards opens her debut with a paean to Jane Eyre, her Toronto law firm–set contemporary retelling shows zero understanding of its source, sapping the story of gothic atmosphere, religious subplots, and thematic explorations of morality, justice, and redemption to create a shallow workplace rom-com replete with random changes for the sake of random change. Jane Raine is a former foster child who, after quite a lot of dithering, quits waitressing to become a legal secretary to fiery-tempered secret softie Edward Rosen, the pointlessly renamed Rochester character, whose persona as a woke 21st-century feminist is immediately undermined by his "Gift of Fear"–level, office-destroying temper tantrums and his secret past. Though none of the original story beats or characters are competently translated, Rosen's dark secret and how it resolves is particularly nonsensical and Jane's means of achieving independence post-reveal are insultingly regressive and give her much less dignity than her 19th-century counterpart. The book does not succeed in its own rights either, as it is very oddly paced, with key emotional beats intercut with abrupt flashbacks. Readers can take a pass on this one.
Exceeded my expectations!
I devoured Jane Eyre when I was 11 years old. I’ve watched every movie version. I sampled this book with a sigh expecting to be disappointed. I purchased the book 5 pages in. The author,”gets” Jane! She brings modern thoughts behind Jane’s pain. Edward is forgivable and adorable. I didn’t need the,”F bombs”, but appreciate the passion instead of sex. I highly recommend JANE & EDWARD!
Such a sweet, well developed story!