Jane Eyre Laid Bare

A classic novel gets an erotic makeover. Is this a clever marketing ploy cashing in on a hot trend in fiction or is it just plain book blasphemy?

Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair (Pan Books)

I finally gave in. 

It took a display of heavy-petting books, a few jokes, and a reading rut to get me ‘All aboard the Mummy-Porn train!’, waving my arms in delight and hoping to close the book with a new found evangelism for this genre. 

I didn’t make it through 50 Shades, so why not this one ...

I hopped on the mummy-porn-train, luggage in my lap hoping to be awed, disgusted or educated (I don’t know) – anything really. At the end of the day, I actually just wanted to see what the hype was about. 

I opened Jane Eyre Laid Bare and having never read the original Bronte work, you can only imagine my expectations of it, especially after watching the 2011 film and countless BBC miniseries enactments.

I sat back, laid the pages bare, expected a different kind of ‘red-room’, and covered my eyes – peeping through my fingers – like one does when watching a horror film. 

I waited for the whips, chains, maybe guns and ripped corsets – what a letdown, or a godsend?  I was greeted with a watered down version of an Austen novel, a few unrealistic steamy scenes and a gloomy Rochester that said ‘Ditto’ ...

I see the merit in a genre that has reading thrill-seekers clamouring for books that talk taboo and all things that we daren’t chat about at the dinner table – 50 Shades of Grey, has made asking your colleague the question ‘So what kind of whip did you use?’ as comfortable as asking ‘Can I borrow that pen?’. 

Forcing society to speak in less hushed tones about sex and how women are portrayed in society, as well as men – be it with a colleague or an awkward ‘sex’ conversation with your Grandmother (yes this was my experience); we like books like these!

I said this with Twilight, and I say it again, it gets people reading, so let’s not sweat the small stuff (i.e. carriage rides that end up being more than just horses and dusty roads) and celebrate a new type of reader, slip them next to YA genre lovers, Sci-fi enthusiasts and Chick-lit dwellers; each to their own – or kind of whip, I suppose?

If you loved 50 Shades of Grey, Eighty Shades Yellow, Bared to Me, this book will leave you breathless and dreaming to walk around in a corset bellowing words like ‘The world be snatched from Beelzebub when this man looked upon me!’, however, if you didn’t enjoy 50 Shades of Grey, then give this one a skip and find something a little more meaty.

I took to reading this book in my car... Not suspicious at all!

Happy Reading!

Read more of Kelly's reviews over at her blog.

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Goodbye, dear Sue Townsend

2014-04-14 14:57
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