Monday, May 25, 2009

Jillian Dare by Melanie M. Jeschke - MY REVIEW

Jillian Dare is a novel intended to be a modern adaptation of Jane Eyre. As such, the storyline does mirror the plot of Jane Eyre in several ways. The young protagonist, Jillian Dare, is indeed a young orphan who takes the position of nanny for the very wealthy, international businessman, Ethan Remington. Their relationship does blossom into friendship in spite of their vast rank in station, but they differ primarily in their faith – Jillian has a strong faith and Ethan seems rather angry at God for reasons he refuses to disclose.

The story is told in first-person, and while I found the first two-thirds of the book somewhat enchanting, when Jillian went back home to stay with her former foster-family and the character of John is introduced things sort of fell apart for me as a reader. John was the caricature of legalism, and his entire encounter with Jillian was stilted and strange. Based on what the reader had been told of Jillian’s foster family to that point in the story, John came across as someone who just did not fit my impression of the family Jillian cared about so much.

From the point Jillian returned to her adoptive family to the end of the story, the novel felt forced and lost its romantic appeal altogether. The pacing of the story seemed rushed, and I never cared at all for the family that Jillian was supposed to love so much. This story does have an old-world appeal to it, and the scenes from England were my personal favorite. However, the last third of the book sort of ruined the romance for me, and I felt like the ending was just sort of crammed into the last few pages of the book.

This was a good book, but it wasn’t my personal favorite. If you like romance or are a fan of Jane Eyre you will like this story. You may visit the author’s website to learn more about her work, and you may purchase your own copy of this story if you are looking for some light summer reading.


Melanie M. Jeschke is the author of the Oxford Chronicles series, as well as numerous travel articles. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia, Jeschke has lectured in a variety of educational, professional, and community settings. The wife of a pastor, she homeschooled most of her nine children. Jeschke and her family live in Virginia.

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