On the recommendation of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Gail Carriger, I picked up Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. I had never read the author before, but the book sounded irreverently funny and with enough of an ode to the classics (without being Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) to make it something I would enjoy.
I found that I didn’t really care for the novel until about a quarter of the way through when the main character experiences the big life change and the book shakes up a bit. Plenty happens in the novel before then, but it seemed a bit disjointed. I was never really sure where the story was going until about page 100 or so.
I did, however, love the remainder of the book. Jane Eyre obviously figures largely in it, per the title, and as a fan of the classic book, I enjoyed the interplay between the contemporary novel and the book we know and love. I’ve been inspired to go back and read Jane Eyre now.
And, if you like this first book, there is a whole series that follows it.
On a related note, if you’re looking for a good literary-themed podcast, Stuff You Missed in History Class has a few on the Bronte sisters, both early lives and once they began their writing careers.