Jane Steel A Novel by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele by [Faye, Lyndsay]

A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer says the NYT about Jane Steel.

“Reader, I murdered him”.  What a great opening!

Jane Steel has suffered more loss and ugliness in her life at age 9 than most people will in a lifetime. The loss of a Father she doesn’t remember and then her beautiful, sensitive French Mother has left her too tender for her overbearing Aunt and horrid cousin.

When her Aunt sends her to Lowan Bridge School, a boarding school that sounds like Gitmo,  she is left to fight for her life. Unable to bear any more, she commits another murder and runs away to London, leaving the dead behind her.

She hides for years, waiting for that knock on the door from the Law, all the while writing morbid “confessions” of the recently hanged, which are published in the paper daily.

Then her Aunt dies and Jane finds out there is a new Master of Highgate House who is looking for a governess for his 9 year old ward. Jane’s mother always told her that the house would one day be hers and now she intends to find out if she is the rightful owner.

This is a satirical romance about things we all can relate to, the lies we tell, the guilt we live with, who we really are and are the lines between good and bad a tad blurry.

While it is most definitely a Gothic piece and Miss Jane begins her killing very early in life, I laughed so hard. My favorite parts were the blurbs above each chapter. My favorite?

” Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

” They go to hell, was my ready and orthodox answer…”

” What must you do to avoid it?”

 I deliberated a moment; my answer, when it did come, was objectionable: ” I must keep in good health, and not die.”

This is one of those books that I kept saying to my reading partner, Hey you have to listen to this! It’s that good!

About The Author

Lyndsay Faye moved to Manhattan in 2005 to audition for theatre work; she found her days more open when the powers that be elected to knock her day-job restaurant down with bulldozers. Her first novel Dust and Shadow: an Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H Watson is a tribute to the aloof genius and his good-hearted friend whose exploits she has loved since childhood. Faye’s love of her adopted city led her to research the origins of the New York City Police Department, the inception of which exactly coincided with the start of the Irish Potato Famine. The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret, and The Fatal Flame follow ex-bartender Timothy Wilde as he navigates the rapids of his violently turbulent city, his no less chaotic elder brother Valentine Wilde, and the perils of learning police work in a riotous and racially divided political landscape. The first book of the trilogy was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel and has been published in 14 languages. Her lasting affection for Jane Eyre led her to re-imagine the heroine as a gutsy, heroic serial killer in Jane Steele.

After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Lyndsay worked as a professional actress throughout the Bay Area for several years, nearly always in a corset, and if not a corset then at the very least heels and lined stockings. As her roles ranged from Scrooge’s lost fiancée in A Christmas Carol to Lavinia DuPlessy in Andrew Lippa’s world premiere of A Little Princess, whalebone prevented her from drawing a natural breath for a number of years. She is a soprano with a high pop belt, if it interests you. Her performances were generally reviewed well, with adjectives ranging from “soaring” and “delightful” to “sausage-curled.”

Lyndsay and her husband, artist Gabriel Lehner, live in Queens with their cats, Grendel and Prufrock. During the few hours a day Lyndsay isn’t writing or editing, she is most often cooking, or sampling new kinds of microbrew, or thinking of ways to creatively mismatch her clothing. She is a very proud member of AEA, MWA, ASH, GWN, and BSI (Actor’s Equity Association, Mystery Writers of America, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, Girls Write Now, and the Baker Street Irregulars, respectively).

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