Finally! Finally I am finished with this god-awful book! OK, no, not really god-awful. Just NOT Jane Eyre, whatever the author may say. I think I would have enjoyed this book more were I not comparing it to the original. As it is, Gemma was no Jane. Jane would never have stolen, lied, and called down curses on people. She also wouldn’t have abandoned Rochester for as lousy of a reason as Gemma does in this story. I think that the author’s replacement reason for Gemma/ Jane and Sinclair/ Rochester to be kept apart was absolutely weak, leaving Gemma looking like a spoiled, selfish little girl instead of a a heartbroken and bereaved woman. Sinclair was OK, although a few scenes in his rooms on the Orkneys kinda creeped me out. Right to the chase, huh, Hugh? I never really bought into their love story–like it was told more than shown.
The supporting characters were underwhelming, and it seemed like a lot of them from the original story were split into multiple characters, so extraneous information that had nothing to do with the plot could be shoehorned into the story. In general the author is very heavy on pointless details–did I really need to be told not once but twice that two women on the plane ahead of Gemma had wavy hair in the same shade of brown? No, I didn’t. Pointless, distracting details. (And yes, that’s really in there.)
The only positives I can share are that the settings really were fascinating: not just Scotland but also especially the Orkneys and Iceland. And the woman who read this audio book was superb. If you must read this book, listen to the audio. She does fantastic accents as well as voices and emotions. Best part of the book, hands down.
It’s a shame; the concept really fascinated me at first–a Jane Eyre retelling set in Scotland, the Orkneys, and Iceland? Terrific! Wait…not so terrific. I think it just boiled down to the fact that I really disliked Gemma. I thought she was petty and selfish and weak, and the further the book progressed, the more I thought she got what was coming to her, or much less than she deserved. Especially how she got to Iceland. By the end I just detested her, and didn’t think she deserved to be back with Sinclair. ugh!