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Re Jane: A Novel Hardcover – May 5, 2015
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From School Library Journal
"Breezy, engaging... a truly fresh, modern take on the coming-of-age novel"--New York Times Book Review
"Like her Brontean namesake, Jane narrates her tale with honesty and wit. . . Reader, you'll love her"--O Magazine
“Snappy and memorable with its clever narrator and insights on clashing cultures.”
"Be ready to mull over your own place in the world as you root wholeheartedly for Jane to find hers."--Glamour
"Re Jane . . . drolly explore[s] issues of class, ethnicity and women's autonomy for an unlikely heroine of the 21st century."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR
“Park’s debut is a cheeky, clever homage to Jane Eyre with touching meditations on Korean-American identity. . . . Park’s clever one-liners, and her riffs on cultural identity will resonate with any reader who’s ever felt out of place.”
"Re Jane is breezy and accessible. . . Park offers real insight into assimilationist struggles . . . Park's portrait of Korean-American life feels authentic and is ultimately endearing. Charlotte Brontë would be proud."
“Park is a fine writer with an eye for the effects of class and ethnic identity, a sense of humor, and a compassionate view of human weakness. . . An enjoyable book offering a portrait of a young woman struggling to come into her own in the increasingly complicated opening years of a new century."
“[Jane’s] journey ripples with comic and surprisingly authentic moments. Park is a smart, engaging writer, able to capture the emotional weight of a romantic gaze as well as the complicated ties of family. . . . Most everyone who has struggled to fit in will relate to parts of Park's coming-of-age tale. . . Reader, try not to leave charmed.
“In her delightful debut novel, Patricia Park uses the classic novel Jane Eyre as a template to examine very modern concepts: questions of identity and love, culture and conscience, even the hardships of immigration. But you don’t really need familiarity with Charlotte Brontë’s most famous work to appreciate Re Jane; it’s entertaining all on its own, vibrant and witty and a hell of a lot of fun.”
—The Miami Herald
"A sensitive, witty tale of the search for belonging....Park's novel is so much more than a mere retelling of Jane Eyre . . . Readers should feel free to take this 'Jane' as is - an astute, resonating, humorous, discerning, original debut."--The Christian Science Monitor
[A] delightful first novel...Park's narrative voice is energetic, witty (the book bristles with one-liners) and thoughtful."--BBC.com
“Re Jane is a rich and engaging novel. Besides being a love story, it is infused with contemporary subject matter, such as longing versus belonging, the immigrant experience. Patricia Park writes with earnestness, honesty, and exuberance, which make the novel thoroughly enjoyable.
—Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of War Trash and Waiting
"The Korean Americans of Queens find a daring new voice in Patricia Park's debut novel, as she takes a story we know and makes it into a story we've not seen before--a novel for the country we are still becoming.”
—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
“Patricia Park's Re Jane is packed with authenticity, poignancy and humor. I was enchanted by this modern retelling of Jane Eyre as the tough yet vulnerable narrator captured my heart.”
—Jean Kwok, bestselling author of Girl In Translation and Mambo in Chinatown
“In Re Jane, Patricia Park transforms Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel with her own inimitable wit and imagination….A wonderfully suspenseful novel that will delight those who know the original, and those who don’t.”
—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
“A noteworthy debut from a writer who opens a window to an understanding of immigrants anywhere.”
—Elizabeth Nunez, author of Prospero’s Daughter and Anna in-Between.
“Re Jane is a contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre that’s also entirely its own exquisite story. Jane is a hilarious, sometimes muddled, and utterly beguiling heroine. Park's surprising twists and razor-sharp writing and deep heart make the pages fly by. This story is all about what it’s like being young and learning from mistakes and figuring out who you are without fear.”
—Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife
“Some nerve, to take Jane Eyre, reconfigure it, make the heroine an orphaned half-white Korean girl, all the while mixing new-fangled Jello shots, hipsterisms, and spicy fish stew with old-fashioned romance. Some nerve to bring it off with such energy, color, and emotional insight! Reader, you'll love it.”
—Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake
“What a pleasure, this journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Korea and back with such a smart, witty, observant insider. And have I mentioned the writing? So many times I said to myself as I read a particularly delicious sentence or description in Re Jane why can't I do that?”
—Elinor Lipman, author of The View from Penthouse B
“Patricia Park displays her keen observation skills, her penchant for finding le mot juste (be it in English or Korean) and her natural gift for story telling in her witty debut novel, Re Jane. Not only does this charming novel entertain, especially with spot-on descriptions of people, but it also opens a window into the Korean culture. This may be Patricia Park's first novel, but it won't be her last.”
—Firoozeh Dumas, bestselling author of Funny in Farsi
“This is a richly imagined and engrossing novel, and also an important work that marks what it means to be American now. Park's writing is remarkable for its tenderness and honesty.”
—Sabina Murray, author of Tales from the New World and The Caprices
“Even with its appealing echoes of Jane Eyre, Patricia Park's first novel is a true original--a smart, fresh, story of cultural complications that hasn't yet been told in quite this way. The funny and shrewdly observant narrator won me over on the very first page.”
—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection
Top Customer Reviews
When her hopes of a career on Wall Street are dashed - at least temporarily - by a troubled economy, Jane applies for an au pair position with a Brooklyn family. Her uncle is aghast at the thought, but for Jane it finally means getting out from under his thumb. The family, a professor of women's issues and a high school english teacher, have a ten-year-old daughter they adopted from China. Their hope, initially, was to bring in a nanny with a Chinese background, but they hire Jane instead. It's a big change for Jane, bigger still when she starts to fall for her new boss!
Patricia Park's debut is a great play on Jane Eyre! A heavily "inspired by" tale, but one that deviates quite a bit and stands on its own two feet: Jane Re is no Jane Eyre, Ed Farley definitely no Edward Rochester, and fortunately her family isn't at all the kind of family Jane Eyre was saddled with. Not to mention the fact that the wife in this case isn't secreted away in some attic holding pen.
Did I mention Ed Farley is no Mr. Rochester? I have to say I did not love Jane for falling for him. And yet, the path she takes after realizing her "mistake" is fabulous! And I did so adore our heroine in spite of that one issue (she agonizes over it quite a bit as well, which is further endearing). Her family, too! Oh, I was so glad that Jane's family wasn't horrid and monstrous! It takes quite a while - and a trip around the world - before Jane herself starts to feel comfortable in her own skin and therefore comfortable with her family.Read more ›
Jane Re has thus far lived a lackluster life by most standards. She's spent her whole life under the thumb of her unloving and unmoving aunt and uncle, slaving away in the family grocery store at all hours and never quite managing to live up to expectations or fit into her Korean American Queens neighborhood. Finally, she graduates and, against everyone's better judgement (including possibly her own), takes a job as an au pair for a somewhat unorthodox couple in Brooklyn. The Mazer-Farley household is something of an enigma. Beth Mazer flits around bound and determined to be the most nonjudgmental of free spirits and insists her adopted Chinese daughter Devon and her fellow academic husband Ed follow suit. As Jane settles into her new home, she finds the workings of this unusual family fascinating, but the deeper entrenched she becomes, the harder it is to define just what role she is to play in their lives.
So.Read more ›
This was without a doubt the best retelling of Jane Eyre I have ever read. Park's writing is pure magic. The story never felt rushed or felt dragging at any point. The changes she made to the original story, in order to make it work for the early 2000s setting , felt right. All the characters were unique with their own distinct personalities. The American and Korean story-lines worked really well together. The only real problem I had with the book was Ed. It seems he is supposed to come of as loving and nurturing. Just a guy who had things turn out differently then plan. To me, though, he came off as manipulative and controlling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are a lot of good ideas in this book, but it feels flat. The most interesting (dramatic) relationship is not between Jane and Ed, it's between Jane and Sang (her uncle). Read morePublished 23 days ago by K. Lincourt
The story, the idea, sounded all great. Couple of things that really pissed me off: horrible impersonation of accents- especially those of Brooklyn and Russian. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I was drawn to this book by how much faster the plot moves than Jane Eyre and the new take on the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alyssa
Wonderful book that really gets into the head of a person growing up in different cultures.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I was fascinated by the many cultural insights in this novel, whether in a Korean enclave in Queens, in a liberal household in Brooklyn, or in South Korea. Read morePublished 1 month ago by San Francisco VH