My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Absolutely lovely. I just started writing a review and deleted it by accident. (oops).
Let me just say, this book does not mirror the original story, rather it takes inspiration from Jane Eyre, and in a loving way it creates a story that has strength and atmosphere entirely its own.
I loved this book to pieces, especially the fresh take on the classic story. Some of the best parts, such as the scene where Mr. Sinclair and Gemma have to cross the water to get off the island, were entirely new. This book retains the spirit and energy of the original, but allows us fans to experience the story again for the first time.
I was so happy that Ms. Livesey didn’t choose to use the Bertha Mason storyline. It wouldn’t have fit in this story, and I’ve read modernized versions of the story that force this part of the plot, and it always bothers me. I feel that Bertha’s storyline is very dated; it was appropriate in the 1800s when originally written, but today it’s difficult to relate to. The new plot twist used in this book was understandable and made sense to the story.
Gemma was such an enjoyable character to follow. Even her childhood, which many people (myself included) have found to be a slow part in Jane Eyre, was full of interest and well-paced. I just couldn’t gush more about this book. I will certainly have to buy a copy, as this is destined for a slot on my regular re-read list. SO MUCH FUN!