I don’t mind when authors write books inspired by my own story. In fact, I feel honored to be noticed. Of course, each writer takes my life into her own hands with varying degrees of wit and skill. One popular book, Re Jane, by Patricia Park, has me quite baffled. It’s a modern recreation of my tale, using a Korean-American heroine in my stead–all well and good. But the childhood of Korean Jane, though she is an orphan forced to work in her uncle’s grocery store, doesn’t seem bleak enough; and Mr. Rochester’s stand-in, professor Ed Farley, is a beta male at best, a sensitive wimp nothing like my own Edward. Unlike in my own book, the best part of Re Jane is in the middle, when Jane goes to Korea and remakes herself as a high-fashion corporate type. Re Jane is fine as bright “chick lit”, a term I apologize for using btw as I despise it; but the glowing reviews which make the novel seem like real literature are what have me in dismay.
A better book, I thought, was Jane Steele by Lyndsay Fay. It is inspired by Jane Eyre rather than trying to be a retelling of my tale. Jane Steel’s favorite book is Jane Eyre and she wishes she could be me–a quaint desire! What makes Jane S. unique is that she is a serial killer, a downfallen Victorian orphan girl who uses murder, rather than virtue, to improve her circumstances. Also, the romantic figure here is likewise a killer, the dashing Charles Thornfield, originally from India and as enigmatic as that country. He is a great improvement on professor Ed Farley! When faced with a problem, Charles uses his wits and a series of Sikh weapons to solve it, rather than resorting to emotion.
Of course, the best in a recent windfall of books where I am the inspiration is Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. Available on Amazon, it features me waking up in contemporary New York City, as a character in a Big Brother type reality TV show. My flatmates include Mr. Darcy, Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, David Copperfield, and Emma Bovary. In order to get back “home”, back into the pages of my book, I must attract enough modern day readers. Please check out the link below and read Jane Eyre Gets Real today!