Amy Wilkinson
March 17, 2016 AT 05:46 PM EDT

Jane Steele

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lyndsay Faye
publisher
G.P. Putnam's Sons
genre
Novel

We gave it an A-

Not so much a retelling of Jane Eyre as an homage to Charlotte Brontë’s classic, Jane Steele boasts all the familiar elements—a precocious orphan, a bleak academic institute, a wealthy Byronic suitor—but with a bloody new twist: murder. That’s right, this Jane is a serial killer. Don’t clutch your pearls just yet, though: Our heroine’s motives are based much less on sociopathy than on the desire to protect those near and dear. (Jane the Ripper this is not.) What emerges is a beautifully drawn gothic portrait of a fierce young woman finding her way in an unfriendly world by slaying her demons— both figuratively and literally. A–

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