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Jane_E, Friendless Orphan: A Memoir Paperback – May 8, 2006
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Jane_E is Erin's debut novel. Erin revisits Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. She resets the 19th Century, semi-Gothic romance in the 30th Century. Resurrecting this dark classic produces a challenging and complex tale. In the course of retelling the romantic story of forlorn love, Erin reprises Bronte's concerns about morality, spirituality, fulfillment, and religion. The work incorporates these faith-based elements in a generally low-key and unobtrusive way.
Jane_E essentially is the story of Jane's spiritual awakening in the midst of her personal trials and tribulations. Jane's misery is a result of being a clone created for an experiment by a billionaire. She is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Alone with no family, tribe, or an alternative group to claim her, she struggles to find love and meaning in a cold, cruel world. While Jane carries on her life, we focus on her spiritual and moral journey.
Imagine a young 19th Century chambermaid. She stares forlorn over an English moor beneath an overcast sky. In the distance, a handsome blade rides a stallion up to a Gothic manor. Jane longs for him to love her with as much passion as she yearns to share with him. Will he give her the love she's starving for? Now update that for the 30th Century and one has a good idea of what's going on.
As an aside, Jane's situation is not unlike that of illegitimate children in the 19th Century or state-less children raised anywhere in the world today.
Erin is a good writer. She clearly knows how to manage characters and the English language. She adroitly avoids too many stream of consciousness paragraphs on one page. Nonetheless, some passages become difficult when Jane's thoughts appear as incomplete fragments without italicization, quote marks or other distinction. This would not be a problem, but as I read the book over an extended period, I kept getting lost.
And as always my ranking takes the target audience into account. If the Gentle Reader loved Jane Eyre in school, I think it's not a stretch to think she would enjoy Jane_E.
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century?
Jane is not Duck Dodgers. The story could be told in a contemporary setting. Considering the state of current cloning technology, it's entirely possible an unscrupulous project to build an army of clones may already be underway. Yes, we should be a few years away, but remember we know so little about what's happening in the labs in the former Soviet bloc, the suburbs of Beijing, or outside Research Triangle Park for that matter.
Format and Writing:
Formatting made the text difficult to read. For example, the chapters are numbered and begin on either left or right pages. This has the effect of making the book feel like one long continuous manuscript. With half-inch margins, there's hardly any space for notes.
The book also offers study questions for book club readers, Christian reading groups, or English-lit classes.
Erin's concerns are with the products of conception - the babies and the clones - not with the money, power or opportunities gained by the one who controls the baby's circumstances as a living human being after conception. Erin's approach is mostly passive, and I doubt most readers would be offended.
Jane is a young woman forced into a series of exploitative situations. Her soul finds fertile ground in suffering and she grows spiritually as she struggles to find an uplifting response. She resolves her frustration and anger by developing Christian values.
Jane_E is hardly a Blunt Force Instrument. Having worked hundreds of cases as a pro-bono attorney, I know what happens to the babies. I've been forced to handle some unspeakable material. In light of my experience, Erin's approach displays Christ-like generosity.
If you are a fan of Charlotte, Emily or Anne Bronte, Jane Austen, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Gothic romance, I recommend the book. Fans of this type of romance should enjoy Jane_E all the more if you share Erin's concerns about the potential abuse of bio-technology.
About the author:
Erin McCole-Cupp is a Catholic writer and member of the Catholic Writers Guild. She blogs at Will Write for Tomato Pie. [...] Follow her on Twitter @ErinMCOP.
Erin writes for Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, and The Philadelphia City Paper.
This is a review of a first-edition softcover published in 2006 as a trade paperback. I purchased the book at the Catholic Writers Conference in 2012.
D. A. Knight
Cretaceous Clay & the Black Dwarf (The Chronicles of Cretaceous Clay) and
Cretaceous Clay & The Ninth Ring (The Chronicles of Cretaceous Clay)
I really enjoyed the story because it was quite different from anything out there right now; the setting, the voice and the story. Though, it was a bit slow for me. All in all; the book is clean, has a good story, good characters and will be loved by readers of all ages--especially middle graders. It will be a good addition to any library or home.
In short, I devoured this book. Futuristic stuff isn't necessarily my thing. Modernizing classics isn't necessarily my thing. This book just worked though! I was sucked in right from the very start. Above all else, McCole-Cupp paid attention to detail! It was obvious to me she's read Jane Eyre quite a few times. I loved all the little references to Jane Eyre and the way she made some of the more dated aspects of the story (it was written in the mid-1800s!) realistic in a future setting. Additionally, though I knew how the story would end up, the journey in Jane_E was different enough from Jane Eyre that I was kept in relative suspense. However, when things came together, I remembered little clues that had been sprinkled throughout the story (which I may not have noticed while reading them) and the whole thing was totally believable. I think that's one of the marks of a good writer--no plot holes!
Anyway, I could probably babble on about this forever, but suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and I intend to read it again and recommend it to anyone who will listen! GO READ IT!