My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I’d originally rated this book, I’d given it 5 stars, but after some time to think about it, I changed it to 4; though it probably doesn’t deserve even that much, I did finish it in one sitting, so that must mean I found it to be interesting, right? And being that it is supposed to be loosely based on the story of Jane Eyre, I couldn’t resist reading this.
Fiona, or Fee as she prefers to be called, is the Jane Eyre of this story. She is an American girl, product of a a deceased Scottish mother, and a musician father she has never known.
It’s while she’s living with her father’s uncaring sister, and working at a restaurant just to make enough money to get out of Dodge, that she is contacted by her late mother’s best friend in Scotland, Lily Mackenzie, and asked if she would like to go there and become the nanny of her daughter, Poppy. Fee accepts, and soon after makes her way to Scotland. Upon arriving, she learns that Lily and her husband have very recently died in a car accident, and her new employer is Poppy’s older brother Charlie.
Nothing interesting really happens (that I can remember) until Charlie shows up, and pretty much right away you can see the chemistry between him and Fee, but obviously we had to have our Blanche Ingram counterpart in the form of Charlie’s Blair, who is obviously up to no good as soon as she shows up and informs Charlie she is pregnant with his baby. Being the responsible guy he has decided to become after his parent’s deaths, he gets back together with Blair. Fee is heartbroken, but attempts to move on and a lose herself in doing her job.
Of course, we can’t forget that in Jane Eyre, there was the spookiness of the strange laughter at night, and the overall eeriness of Rochester’s home, so in this, Fee begins to hear strange whispers at night that appears to be coming from the walls. Now Fee is left to fear the strange things that have started to plague her, all while fighting her feelings for Charlie…who also appears to be fighting his as well.
Being such a fan of Jane Eyre, I was really interested in the idea of a modern retelling, and since it was a modern take, I’ll admit that I was relieved that Charlie was at least closer in age to Fee, because though the age difference may have worked in Victorian times, in these days, I can’t help but think of Hugh Hefner and that just does not interest me.
Right, so Charlie shows up, and being a reformed bad boy, he seems so wonderful of a love interest, but with Crazy Blair’s appearance, I grew frustrated with him. I don’t think he ever went on any baby appointments with her…mostly because I don’t think I remember her having any? I don’t know, but either way, how disconnected must you be if you don’t find it the least bit strange? I know he doesn’t care about Crazy Blair like he does Fee, but since he did resign himself to being with Crazy Blair (sorry, can’t think of her any other way), I feel like he should put forth some kind of effort, even if I incredibly dislike her. He’s the idiot who dated her.
Now, when it comes to the whispers in the walls, Fee’s reasons for not telling anyone about them is because of a secret she doesn’t want to reveal, but it only makes things worse for her. These parts frustrate me as well, and I can’t say I agree with the reasoning behind her need to keep silent.
Fee and Charlie, and especially Crazy Blair (!!!!) were all frustrating in their different ways, but I still did enjoy this book. I was surprised by a few things closing in on the end, which is another thing I couldn’t help but like about this book.
Overall, I did like the author’s interpretation of one my favorite books ever. There were a few things I could have lived without, but I ended up enjoying it enough to forgive those imperfections. I’d recommend this to any who were fans of Jane Eyre, or any who would like to read a modern, gothic romance.