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My Plain Jane
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Plain Jane, is by Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Said Goodbye), Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, the team who wrote My Lady Jane about Lady Jane Gray, the first in their Lady Jane series. This is a historical rom-com/murder mystery with ghosts, fashioned as a retelling of the classic novel Jane Eyre and set in 1830s London, where Jane and aspiring author Charlotte Bronte are best friends. It could spark conversations about topics such as death, sexism, and abuse, but there's no graphic violence or strong language. There's some pre-Victorian-era kissing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MY PLAIN JANE is a lighthearted retelling of Jane Eyre set in 1830s England and narrated in alternating chapters by aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, orphan Jane Eyre, and ghost hunter Alexander Blackwood. Charlotte’s best friend Jane is offered a job with the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits (she can see ghosts), but instead decides to be a governess at Thornfield Hall. As the story moves along, Jane falls in love with her dark, brooding employer, Mr. Rochester, who's much older than she is. There are ghosts and lots of mystery, as well as literary themes of revenge and patriarchy. The tone is definitely tongue-in-cheek.
Is it any good?
Fans of the literary masterpiece it's based on will get a kick out of this retelling with its humor and supernatural theme. My Plain Jane starts out a bit slow and feels long at times, but the wit and humor carry the story. The authors' fondness for this Gothic time period shines through, and fans of paranormal romances will probably love it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about feminism in My Plain Jane. Which scenes illustrate sexism in 19th century England? How does Helen call out Rochester’s patriarchal behavior?
How do the authors managed to evoke humor and wit in this time of history that was often so dark for women? How do they poke fun on the pages?
- Authors: Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: June 26, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 464
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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