SLIGHT SPOILERS CONTAINED.
A few weeks ago I grabbed Jane Steele : a Novel by Lyndsey Faye from the public library. The story concerns Jane Steele, a young woman with a life trajectory very similar to Jane Eyre. This is not a retelling of Jane Eyre. Jane Steele notes that her life circumstances are similar to Jane Eyre with the main exception being that Jane Steele is a murderer. The book is fast-paced, well-written, and I was gripped from the first chapter.
Reader, I cannot finish it.
Jane Steele is a murderer, but more of the vigilante variety.
She murders her rape-y cousin, the cruel sexual harassing schoolmaster, the wife beater, and the child molesting judge.
I couldn’t read any more.
The depravity and murders are not lurid in their detail, but to be honest, the Stanford rapist’s trial has more upset and triggered than I would like to admit. I’m outraged. And after reading the victim statement I simply couldn’t read about women be hurt. I know this is fantastical Gothic, neo-Victorian fiction, but I could not carry on. I found the book just sat there starring at me. I starred at the book thinking “women have never been safe, women will never be safe.” It was an extreme reaction that was completely unexpected.
So, Jane Steele is headed back to the library and I’m delving into something else. I would encourage others to give it a try, but perhaps not it you’re in a sensitive place in your life.