Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite novel. It was the only thing that kept me company when I was in my pre-teens. It was the book I relied on. I couldn't get enough of the movie and tv adaptations that I decided to search around for retellings and re-adaptations of the novel and I found A Breath of Eyre. I was ecstatic and thrilled about my find that I bought it immediately. The moment it arrived, I started reading it and I knew I couldn't stop.
Emma Townsend is a lonely teenager who confides herself in Jane Eyre's world. And when disaster strikes in reality her whole world turns upside down and she's thrown into the fantasy that is Jane Eyre's shoes (literally). She lives out Jane's life for her. She teaches Adele, chats with Mrs. Fairfax and falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester. Her image of reality and fantasy slips a little the first time she makes it to Jane's world. But when she returns to reality, she wants nothing more than to escape back to the illusion of Jane's world. By illusion, I don't mean Emma is crazy and is seeing things. Each time she's in Jane's world, she's in a coma in reality. As she explores her feelings in Jane's shoes, the author changed my whole outlook of my childhood best friend Jane and my childhood crush, Mr. Rochester.
She portrayed Jane Eyre as a feminist that stupidly fell in love with a controlling monster who married his wife, Bertha for money then drove her into a state of loneliness and depression. This eventually drove her so insane and violent that he locked her up like an animal just because he didn't want to deal with her. If I think about it long enough, it may look that way if we sat in Bertha Mason's place. But honestly, what happened to the bi-polar-ness that drove every female in Bertha's family insane? Bertha Mason is self-destructive, and Rochester did what every man would do in that era: lock her up because they were afraid of a mental illness that they did not understand. I see no harm in Mont's perception of Jane Eyre, after all everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And this particular opinion can be a real eye-opener and I tip my hat to Mont for her concept twist.
The unique twist, the emotional and dark characters, the romance, the fights and interactions that were realistic, brought this book together pretty well. Despite all the copy-paste from the original Jane Eyre book, I still found myself loving this book, if not whole-heartedly but sincere enough to say that I adored the message that came with it: Appreciate and be grateful of the people who love you in reality because people in fantasies are just scripted, unreal and well... an illusion. Nothing beats reality, even if reality beats you.