This book is SO MUCH FUN! If you’re looking for a lighthearted comedic read, pick up this book, My Plain Jane, or the previous book by the Lady Janies (what the authors call themselves), My Lady Jane. This is a retelling of Jane Eyre….but with a twist or a hundred thrown in. It’s not the story you know.
I will preface this by saying I have never read Jane Erye and I enjoyed this story completely! You don’t need to have read My Lady Jane or Jane Eyre to enjoy this. While this is sort of part of a series, it reads as a standalone.
Title: My Plain Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Series: The Lady Janies – but reads as a standalone
Sometimes you just need a book to lose yourself in and not have to think too hard about or get too serious with – and this book is perfect for that! Despite me only giving this 3.5/5 stars, I loved it! This is a silly story with some facts from the actual Jane Eyre, but completely twisted around. And this book has ghosts. I didn’t realize that going in, Jane in this story can see ghosts. That was a very fun element that I enjoyed!
This takes place in the same time frame as the actual Jane Eyre, the late 1800s England, where ladies must be proper and acquaintances formally address each other by their last name. This is a story about seeing ghosts, banishing ghosts into talismans (to relocate them from causing trouble) by bopping them on the head, with a little romance thrown in for good measure! There are twists and turns and shocking events! Even some scandalous moments (for the 1800s).
I found Jane to be, no pun intended, a little plain. She didn’t stand out to me as much as her ghost friend Helen did! I loved Helen and her bluntness. She is a ghost after all, what does she have to lose? I also enjoyed Miss Charlotte Brontë (yes, she’s a character and Jane’s living friend!) – she is bold for a lady in her time and I loved seeing her daringness to push boundaries.
I also loved that throughout the book, the narrator spoke directly to the reader! Some might not like this, but I found it different from typical novels.
This story did get a little too frivolous for me at times but that’s the nature of the story! If you don’t like ridiculous scenarios, this book might not be for you. As I’ve never read the actual Jane Eyre, I have no comparison to it, but I can see someone who has read the original either loving or hating this book.
There was nothing I strongly disliked and as I’ve said, this was a lighthearted read without requiring too much thinking or complex plots. The only supernatural element in this book was the presence of ghosts, but I wouldn’t call this a sci-fi book by any means.
The audiobook is authentic British and read by a British narrator. Yes, I felt that this was important to mention, as it really sets the ~mood~. I have a little trouble understanding British accents sometimes in narration, so I had to turn down the speed to 1.75x (instead of my usual 2x or faster!) Still, I really enjoyed listening to this and it really did help me feel in the time period of 1800s England. Narration felt a little monotone at parts, all the voices felt the same, but overall I did enjoy it and would recommend the audiobook!
Yes, I wholeheartedly recommend this story for a good time. I’m not very much into comedy as a whole, but I smiled throughout this book and enjoyed my time reading it – and I’m looking forward to the next book the Lady Janies put out in 2020!
Have you read any good retellings lately? Let me know, I always enjoy reading retellings!