Who doesn't love Jane Eyre? Well, I guess there are some but I'm not one of them. I have an unhealthy adoration for the book, which is pretty amazing -- there are very few times in my life that I can honestly admit to having enjoyed required school reading.
I think I happened to come to this one at just the right time. It's hard to say if I would have enjoyed it quite as much if I'd had to read it earlier in life. I'm certain, though, that I would have loved it just as much had I come to it on my own instead of as a part of college coursework. We'll never know. Rambling on...
Anyway, when I heard of Eve Marie Mont's very newly released A Breath of Eyre, I was dying to get my hands on it. A girl who gets to travel into the pages of Bronte's book!? Fabulous premise!
Emma Townsend is a pretty average teen. A scholarship student at Lockwood, an exclusive prep school, Emma has chosen Jane Eyre as the subject of her English lit essay for the year. Eyre was her mother's favorite book, after all. But then Emma finds herself inside Jane's story, living in Jane's shoes and falling in love with Mr. Rochester. Does Bronte's tale hold more within its pages for Emma than real life?
I gobbled up this book!
Emma is a wonderful character and in her, Mont has brought to life a teenager who must confront issues of loyalty and love, family and friends, and her own future. I was surprised to find that this was much more of what I'd consider a contemporary read given the sort of paranormal twist -- traveling into a book is a bit paranormal (there might be a better word for it but I can't think of one right now). It was a nice surprise.
I've always been an ardent supporter of Jane and ultimately forgiving of Mr. Rochester's sins. Mont presents a really interesting side of Bertha, however. Emma's own examination of the character has sort of invaded my brain. I don't think that I've changed my mind with regards to Jane and Rochester, but Mont's given me some things to ponder over.
I'm anxious to see what comes next for Emma. I know that she'll be traveling into the pages of The Scarlet Letter (not one of my favorite lit assignments) in A Touch of Scarlet. I expect Mont will inspire me to take another look at Hester's story.