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[originally posted to GoodReads]

I tend to steer clear of Jane Eyre retellings, because I know the original book so well that the retellings seem to leave me both disappointed and craving the passions of Bronte’s world. This is the first time I’ve come across a straight retelling that actually does move the Jane Eyre tale lock, stock and barrel into the current era. She hews so closely to the original it almost feels as if she had a spreadsheet set up to make sure that each part of her story fell into the same blocks. For a die-hard fan of Jane Eyre, one who at one time had the book memorised, it’s a great deal of fun. Since I knew what was coming I derived no small amount of pleasure trying to figure out how she’d move this or that part of the tale into the 21st century. (“How will she handle the gypsy woman at the party?”)

The book loses that half a star for the handling of one element–St. John Rivers. I maintain that the way a modern author handles the Rivers Interlude is the make-or-break of any Eyre pastiche. He is such a difficult character in the original; without his sisters to soften him he’s even worse. Chrissy Breen Keffer did a marvelous job of making him both sympathetic and insufferable, the way St. John Rivers (herein called Jonathan Stone) should be. But my problem came at the very end of the Rivers Interlude. After building a very plausible and conflict-filled scenario that moved pompous, pious Rivers into the modern era, Breen Keefer concluded the whole thing in a rush that felt both forced and unrealistic. That didn’t matter too much, though, because by that point you know what’s coming and you just want her to say her goodbyes to the fellow and get back to Rochester.

If you’re at all a fan of Bronte’s timeless classic, I suggest you invest the dollar to give this book a bit of your attention. You’ll indeed find out just exactly how timeless Bronte’s plot and characters truly are.

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So, Katherine Coble. Tell us…what is the most entertaining, thrilling and captivating book you’ve read in the last six months? Really? And you say it’s educational, too? An unputdownable book to inhale, ponder, discuss? Whoa.

What is this amazing read?

You’ll tell us over at Book In The Bag? Awesome! bookworm

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I don’t usually like to cross-post my book reviews from GoodReads because it feels like a cheat. But this book was–and is–important for anyone struggling with addiction. I know many people in all facets of my life who struggle themselves or have family members struggling, and I think the information Claudia Christian has in her biography about a possible cure (yes, you read that right) for addiction is a thing to take notice of. At the same time I felt mightly strongly about the book as a whole, and wanted to put my take on it as widely as possible, with the hope of discussing the book in the comments with anyone else who has either read this one or is familiar with the Sinclair Method. So I’m doing what I seldom do and copy-pasting from Goodreads.

This is what I thought of Claudia Christian’s ghosted autobiography, Babylon Confidential. (It’s a bit longer than my standard entry, so I’ve more-tagged it for the sake of the blog’s front page.)

The farther I got into this book the more I kept feeling like I’d heard the story somewhere before. It just kept seeming more and more familiar as CC travelled the globe, slept with dozens of men, partied on Dodi Fayed’s yacht and had abortion after abortion (some therapeutic, some spontaneous.)

Then I realised….this book is a very very long and prosaic version of that Charlene song “I’ve Never Been To Me.” You know, the one where a washed up party girl harangues a housewife with tales of her bygone glory and wails about how out of touch her years of high living left her.

“Oh, I’ve been to NieceNice and the Isle of Greece while I’ve sipped champagne on a yacht
I’ve moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed ‘em what I’ve got
I’ve been undressed by kings and I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t supposed to see
I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me”

That’s this book in a nutshell. Well, the first half of it anyway. (more…)

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