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About the Authour:
Patricia Park was born and raised in Queens, New York. Re Jane is her first novel. She has also published numerous essays in several major outlets such as the New York Times, and the Guardian.
Where Does it Take Place?
Re Jane starts off in Flushing, Queens and Seoul, Korea and Jane tries to flee from her actions in New York.
What’s it About:
A modern retelling with a unique twist to the classic novel, Jane Eyre. We meet Jane Re, a half-American, half-Korean young woman who has grown up in Flushing, Queens for her whole life. An orphan, she lives with her uncle’s family and works in their grocery store. However, wanting to so desperately escape she ends up taking a job as an au pair for a couple of Brooklyn English professors who have adopted a Chinese daughter.
While I had some minor issues with Jane Eyre when I read it back in high school I really enjoyed Re Jane. Despite being a sort of retelling of Jane Eyre, Re Jane definitely stands on its own as a strong début novel. I loved the twists that were added to this story to make the book stand out on its own. In particular, I love how Jane in this book was a recent graduate who had only one job offer but due to a corporate scandal the company could no longer afford to hire anyone new. For recent graduates and even post grads, I think many of us can relate to this even now as it is certainly difficult to find employment. I also loved how I could relate to Jane’s naivety and inexperience when it came to life, as I too had a strict, sheltered upbringing just like she had. Overall, I loved what this book had to say about finding what you want and learning to appreciate what you have.
You’ll like this book, if you love:
Books of characters in that emerging adulthood stage of life. As Jane is a recent university graduate, it leads to some interesting storytelling. Also if you are into diverse books, this is a good choice as Park infuses elements of the classic novel, Jane Eyre with the immigrant experiences of Korean-Americans. Even if you have not read or have read but didn’t enjoy Jane Eyre, you should definitely pick up Re Jane.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Nevertheless, regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.