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Jane Eyre    adapted by Jane E. Gerver & Bill Dodge order for
Jane Eyre
by Jane E. Gerver
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2005 (1997)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Jane Eyre's parents died when she was a baby. She lived with her Aunt Reed and three cousins, who treated her cruelly. Jane was sent away to Lowood School for girls, where she was often hungry and cold. Jane became a teacher at Lowood, and after eight years, went out on her own as a governess, working for Mr. Rochester at Thornfield Hall. The housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, and Rochester's ward Adele Varens live there also. When Edward Rochester makes an appearance at Thornfield, Jane considers him 'a moody man', but as time goes by, he becomes friendlier.

More than once, Jane hears a 'curious, ghostly laugh and murmurs', which Mrs. Fairfax ascribes to a servant. One night Jane hears someone at her door, a laugh 'low and deep', and a moan. When Jane opens her door, she sees a fire in Mr. Rochester's room and immediately douses the flames with pitchers of water. She then tells Rochester 'about the strange laugh I had heard, the steps going up to the third floor, and the smell of smoke. He listened without saying a word.' A mysterious Mr. Mason comes to Thornfield from the West Indies, and visits with Mr. Rochester on the third floor. A loud cry for help sounds through the house. Mr. Mason is found cut and bloody, and a doctor called to attend him. There's a mystery at Thornfield.

Mr. Rochester and Jane fall in love and plan to marry. One evening as she enters her room, Jane sees a disheveled and incoherent woman holding her wedding dress. At the wedding ceremony, a man reveals the mystery. Jane leaves Thornfield, wanders, hungy and cold, and is taken in by a kindly family. The drama unfolds as Jane learns that the family is part of her past. I recommend Jane E. Gerver's adaptation of Jane Eyre as a good introduction to youngsters of a timeless tale.

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