Lyndsay Faye’s fifth novel, Jane Steele, opens with the chilling line: “Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important.” From page one, readers will be gripped by Faye’s reinterpretation of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer named Jane Steele.
A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.
Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?
In this interview, Lyndsay Faye reveals her inspiration behind the book, the feminist themes within and how she writes from the point of view of a man (turns out, they’re just people too!) Pick up this riveting read just in time to celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s 200th birthday on April 21.