After losing her parents in a tragic accident, surfer girl Janie Mason is forced to trade the sunny beaches of Hawaii for the cold fog of San Francisco. She’s never even met her new guardians, the Rochesters—an old money family who relish being pillars of high society. Janie feels hopelessly out of place in their world of Napa weekends, fancy prep schools, and cotillions. Nicholas is the only Rochester who treats her with anything resembling kindness—but he’s only six. When she strikes up a friendship with Daniel, a fellow surfer, it feels like things might finally be improving.
But something isn’t right in the Rochester mansion. There are noises—screams—coming from the attic nearly every night. Noises everyone else claims they can’t hear. Then John, the black sheep of the family, returns after getting kicked out of yet another boarding school. Soon Janie finds herself torn between this new “brother” and Daniel, who has secrets of his own. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any worse, she learns the truth about the Rochesters: what they’re hiding, what they want from Janie, and how far they’ll go to get it. – Goodreads.com
I read Jane Eyre many years ago and honestly didn’t remember much about it, so I had to reacquaint myself with the synopsis. Unearthly Things is an updated YA retelling of Jane Eyre and the author has done a remarkable job.
Orphaned at the age of 16, Janie had an idyllic upbringing that wasn’t without its problems, but she’s strong and tries to make the best of a tragic situation, making her character easy to admire. Even though this is a modern day retelling, I loved that the Rochester’s house still maintained the creepy gothic atmosphere, complete with supernatural happenings. I also liked that the primary emphasis wasn’t on romance, but more about the strange occurrences and secrets in the house, odd behaviors of its inhabitants, and Janie’s attempts to figure out the motivations of everyone around her.
This Jane is a down-to-earth, intelligent, strong surfer girl and I thoroughly enjoyed this book – and could easily have read it in one sitting if real life hadn’t required my attention. Fans of the original Jane Eyre may enjoy this updated YA version, but I’d also recommend it to those who enjoy supernatural suspense. Unearthly Things is scheduled for publication April 11th, 2017.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the digital ARC.