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Listening to the Silence

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The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
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David Mitchell

Ironskin

Ironskin - Tina Connolly Jane Eliot is one of the Ironskin, scarred during the war with Fae, and now must wear a mask of iron to protect others from her fairy curse. After loosing yet another job, she takes on a governess position for a young girl she assumes to be like herself. What she discovers in the isolated manor house, is not at all what she expected. In this place she will learn much about herself, about what really happened during The War, and maybe even find love.

I was inspired to read this book after a friend recommended it. She and I have fairly similar tastes, especially when it comes to fantasy, so I trusted that if she liked, I probably would too. At first I enjoyed it. In fact it was a fairly decent read up until the very last page. While it was certainly nothing ground-breaking, it was a fun twist on Jane Eyre, and I love reading books that retell classic stories, making you experience them in a new way. The writing was decent. Not great. The characters were standard. So yeah, it was definitely the twist on a classic that made it such a good read.

What was it then lowered my initial rating of a 4 star book, to one that barely rates a 3? It was this note in the acknowledgements at the end of the book, "...and thanks to someone who pointed out that the original story was trying to be Jane Eyre. I have no idea who that was. Hey, thanks to Charlotte Bronte while I'm at it. I loved Villette." If you read this book, everything about it screams Jane Eyre. From the main characters names, Jane Eliot and Edward Rochert. Her position as a governess to his daughter on a country estate. Secrets being kept. An absentee master of the household. A large party with society women. I could go on and on. Now maybe she made it so obviously Jane Eyre after this unnamed friend pointed it out, but the way she made the acknowledgement as if all this was completely unintended, and said oh yeah, I really love a completely different Charlotte Bronte novel, really bothered me. It bothered me enough to drop a full star from it's rating. I almost dropped another one, but given that I had enjoyed the novel up until that point, I decided that would just be cruel. Next time, I just hope that Miss Connelly, be more honest with your inspirations. Oh, and by the by, I won't be reading the next novel in the series, due out later this year featuring Jane's sister.