A Breath of Eyreby Eve Marie Mont
In this stunning, imaginative novel, Eve Marie Mont transports her modern-day heroine into the life of Jane Eyre to create a mesmerizing story of love, longing, and finding your place in the world. . .
Emma Townsend has always believed in storiesthe ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates. Perhaps it's because she feels like an outsider at her… See more details below
In this stunning, imaginative novel, Eve Marie Mont transports her modern-day heroine into the life of Jane Eyre to create a mesmerizing story of love, longing, and finding your place in the world. . .
Emma Townsend has always believed in storiesthe ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates. Perhaps it's because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn't come close to filling the void left by her mother's death. And her only romantic prospectapart from a crush on her English teacheris Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma's confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre. . .
Reading of Jane's isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane's body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she's never knownand an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane's story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own. . .
"Captivating and heartrending. . . Definitely one for the favorites shelf."Kelly Creagh, author of Nevermore
"A rich, wonderful, smart adventure, steeped in romance. I fell into this book in the same way Emma falls into Jane Eyre and I didn't want to fall back out again." Lesley Livingston, author of Once Every Never and the Wondrous Strange trilogy
Eve Marie Mont lives with her husband, Ken, and her shelter dog, Maggie, in suburban Philadelphia, where she teaches high school English and creative writing. Her debut women's fiction novel, Free to a Good Home, was published by Berkley Books in 2010.
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
- Age Range:
- 13 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
A Breath of Eyre
By Eve Marie Mont
K TEEN BOOKSCopyright © 2012 Eve Marie Mont
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThere was no possibility of taking a swim that day. My stepmother had planned a sweet sixteen party, and the guests were about to arrive. I'd told Barbara at least a dozen times that I didn't want a party, but she insisted, saying if I didn't have one, I'd regret it later. And now that the day was here, setting a record for heat and humidity that summer, the only thing I regretted was that we didn't have central air-conditioning. That voice inside my head began to call me, that invisible cord tugging at my chest, drawing me to the ocean. But it was almost noon. The swim would have to wait.
Reluctantly, I threw on a tank top, cut-off shorts, and flip-flops and headed downstairs. The first thing Barbara said when she saw my outfit was, "You're not wearing that, are you?"
I looked down at myself. "It would appear that I am."
"No, that won't do," she said, clicking her tongue and studying me as if I was beyond hope. "Go upstairs, honey, and change into something pretty."
I raised my eyebrow at her, taking in the sight of her dramatic eye makeup and her piles of well-sprayed blond hair. Barbara had been raised in the rich and fertile soil of Georgia, fed a steady diet of debutante balls, diamond jewelry, and Dolly Parton hair. Her favorite color was yellow because "it's the color of sunshiiiine!"
"I'm perfectly comfortable in this," I said. "Besides, it's, like, a gazillion degrees in here."
"Honey, you don't know heat till you've been to Savannah in summertime. Anyway, that's even more reason to dress in something that'll make you feel pretty." Pretty being the end-all-be-all of life. "Gray Newman's going to be here," she sang.
Oh God. Gray Newman was coming to my party. Gray of the soulful hazel eyes that fooled me into thinking he had hidden depths, when really he was just a spoiled rich kid who spent his summers lifeguarding and seducing the sorority girls. At least, that's what I'd heard; we didn't exactly travel in the same circles.
His mother, Simona, had been my mom's roommate in college and later became my godmother, so Gray and I had been thrown together a lot as kids. Since my mom died, we only saw each other once or twice a year when we got dragged to each other's milestone events. The fact that he was going to be here in my house for my party mortified me. I didn't want him to see what a loser I was, to know that I had no friends, that I wasn't popular like he was. The urge to cut and run grew so strong I could feel it in my bones.
Reluctantly, I went back upstairs to change. On a whim, I put on my bathing suit underneath the green-and-white summer dress I'd chosen. I glanced at myself in the mirror and made a quick assessment. Face: too pointy. Hair: too flyaway, and not at all helped by this humidity. Body: too pathetic. I pulled my hair off my neck and scooped it into a ponytail, partly because it was too hot to wear down and partly because I knew it would annoy Barbara. "Ponytails are for horses," she'd say, or some other ridiculous gem of Southern wisdom.
When I got back downstairs, I saw that Aunt Trish, my cousins, and Grandma Mackie had all arrived together. Next came the neighbors, Bill and Rita, followed by Cassie, a woman I'd made friends with at the real estate office this summer. And yep, that was it. Saddest sweet sixteen party in history.
I went around saying hellos and collecting presents and cards, beginning to hold out hope that the Newmans weren't going to come. But around 12:30, their oatmeal-colored Subaru pulled up in front of our house, and my stomach fell. I watched Gray get out of the car, pick up his little sister Anna, and give her a piggyback ride to the door. Mr. Newman came in carrying an organically grown zucchini the size of a small infant, and Simona held out my present, which appeared to be wrapped in tree bark. They both hugged me, Simona clutching me for so long it was uncomfortable.
"Happy birthday, Emma," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "You look more like Laura every day." I never knew what to say to this.
Gray squatted down so Anna could dismount, then gave me a slow, uncomfortable perusal, glancing briefly down at my chest, I suppose to see if anything interesting was happening there. It wasn't. Despite nightly pleas to a God I only half believed in, I remained a disappointing five foot three with barely any curves. Gray was even taller than the last time I'd seen him, and he'd definitely filled out. With his close-cropped hair and slightly broken-looking nose, he looked hard and proud, but also sort of haunted—like a medieval saint trapped in the body of a Marine.
Anna ran into me, hugging my legs so I was staring down at her long red hair. "Hey, beautiful!" I said. "You're getting so big."
"I just turned seven," she said.
"And I just turned sixteen."
"I know," she said. "Gray told me, like, a million times."
"So give Emma her present," Gray reminded her.
His voice was deeper than I remembered. A few years at a private school had chipped away at his Boston accent, but a hint of it remained. I found it irritatingly sexy.
Anna handed me a small package and demanded that I open it immediately. "Okay, okay," I said, laughing and making a small tear in one corner. When I pulled off the last of the wrapping paper, I was holding a turquoise leather journal inscribed with my initials. "Wow," I said.
"Do you like it?"
"I love it!"
She broke into an embarrassed smile, and then, mission accomplished, went running off to see if there was anyone to play with. I must have looked a little stunned because Gray felt it necessary to add, "Before you go getting all touched, it was my mom's idea. She remembered you used to write."
"Oh," I said, wanting to slam him into something sharp and hard. Why did guys have to be like this? Was it possible for them to admit they had any feelings other than the sports-induced grunting variety?
"So," he said, "are you still?"
"Not so much."
"I don't know. I guess I haven't been inspired. What about you? Are you still lifeguarding?"
"Too busy doing keg stands and scoring with fraternity chicks?"
He glared at me, and for a moment, I thought he was going to punch the wall. "I don't do that anymore, Townsend."
I studied his face for traces of sarcasm. Even if he was being sincere, it was sort of an unwritten rule that Gray and I had to give each other a hard time. When I was five years old and he was seven, I kissed him under the apple tree in our backyard. He responded by giving me a bloody nose. We'd been sparring ever since.
After a few seconds of awkwardly staring at each other, I rolled my eyes and went to join the rest of the party in the kitchen. Everyone was hovering by the whining air conditioner except my poor dad, who stood outside on the deck in front of a hot grill. Why Barbara had planned a cookout for the middle of a heat wave, I had no idea. Grandma Mackie was sitting at the table, sipping her old-fashioned, content to be ignored even though she was probably the most interesting person there. I noticed her drink was getting low, and Grandma didn't like her drinks getting low.
"Can I make you another?" I said.
"A small one," she said. "Just tickle the glass."
"I think you've had enough, Elspeth," Barbara drawled. My grandma was eighty-three years old and had been drinking old-fashioneds since practically World War II. I didn't think one more was going to kill her. "And Emma, you know I don't like you making alcoholic drinks for your grandmother. It isn't appropriate."
"Dad always lets me make them," I said, playing the "real parent" card.
"I know, but he shouldn't. Elspeth, let me get you a nice sweet tea."
"If I wanted tea," Grandma said, "I'd go to the Four Seasons. Right now, I'd like to have a drink at my granddaughter's birthday party." She winked at me, then made a waving motion with her hand, ushering me down to her level. "Who's the David?"
"That beautiful Michelangelo statue," she said, pointing at Gray.
I covered her finger with my hand. "That's Gray Newman, Grandma. You remember. Mom's godson?"
"I don't remember him looking like that," she said, polishing off her old-fashioned. "Delicious." I didn't know if she was talking about her drink or Gray Newman.
My cousins were eyeing him with interest, too. Ashley and Devin were thirteen-year-old twins who resembled the creepy sisters from The Shining movie, especially as my aunt insisted they dress in the same outfits. I shuddered to myself and went into the den to make my grandmother's drink. Gray followed me in and watched me from behind, presumably with the intention of making me nervous.
"Quite a party you've got here, Townsend," he said. He always called me Townsend, like I was one of his swim team buddies. "Your parents, my parents, and a bunch of relatives."
"You forgot to mention yourself," I said, "which should make it fairly obvious that I didn't write the guest list." He laughed and nodded an unspoken touché. "I told Barbara I didn't want a party."
"You have to have a party on your sixteenth birthday," he said. "But you could have invited some friends. I was expecting a room full of teenage girls."
I was about to tell him I didn't have any friends, but it seemed too naked a statement to make to Gray. Like leaving raw meat out for a wild dog. "So sorry to disappoint," I said, turning away from him and tugging at my necklace. I could feel the heat rising to my face, and I hated myself for it.
"You're not playing this right," he said. "The more people you invite, the more presents you get."
"But there's nothing I want."
"Nothing you want?" he said, feigning shock. "You're not a very good Lockwood girl, are you?"
Lockwood Prep, the school I attended, had a reputation for girls with trust funds and designer wardrobes who received brand-new SUVs on their sixteenth birthdays. Gray was right: I was not a very good Lockwood girl. And he would know. He'd been dating Lockwood's poster girl, Elise Fairchild, for six months. She was as Lockwoodian as they came.
"So," I said, trying to steer the conversation away from me, "this is your last year at Braeburn." Two years ago, Gray's parents had transferred him from Sheldrake, the public school in Waltham, to Braeburn Academy, an alternative school that was all about kumbaya and kindness.
"If I have to sit through one more 'harmonic huddle,'" he said, making made air quotes with his fingers, "I'm gonna impale myself with a drumstick."
"That might be a little extreme," I said, extracting a tiny smile from him. "Have you thought about where you're going to college?" I poured two inches of whiskey into my grandma's highball glass.
"I'm tired of thinking about it, actually." His eyes darted restlessly, like it was paining him to have to talk to me. My mouth went rigid, and I retracted, turtle style. I was thinking of something cutting to say when his cell phone rang. He reached into his pocket and glanced down at the display. "I have to answer this," he said and abruptly left the room.
For some reason, I felt embarrassed and enormously disappointed. What had I expected, for Gray Newman to engage in hostile banter with me for the duration of my party? I stayed in the den for a few minutes so it wouldn't seem like I was chasing after him, then went back out to the kitchen and gave Grandma her drink. Everyone was engaged in conversation, so I stepped outside to see if my dad needed help at the grill.
"Hey, kiddo," he said when he saw me. "Ever eat a tofu dog before?"
"Can't say that I have," I said, smiling.
I sidled up next to him, relishing this brief time alone with my father. For the past few years, we'd grown distant. Well, really, he'd grown distant. He'd be standing right in front of me smiling, but I'd know that his mind was somewhere else. He was a fisherman for the local fleet, handsome in a Gary Cooper way, meaning he could look rugged or elegant, depending on the context. In the middle of summer when his skin was almost bronze, he looked like a weathered lobsterman, but around Christmas when he wore a tuxedo to take Barbara to the Boston Pops, he looked like a movie star. Now, with sweat staining the back of his shirt and a damp, sunburned face, he looked like the browbeaten husband he'd become.
"Why don't you let me finish up out here?" I offered. "Go inside and cool off."
"That's okay," he said. "You're the birthday girl. Go back and talk to your guests." How could I tell him this was the last thing I wanted to do?
Reluctantly, I went back inside. Nobody seemed to care that I'd returned, so I ended up wandering around the first floor, feeling like I was at someone else's party. In her zeal to keep the chip baskets filled, Barbara stumbled upon me in the living room and seized the opportunity to give me a lecture on feminine wiles.
"What happened to Gray?" she asked in her irritating drawl, her heavily mascaraed eyes wide with alarm.
"He got a phone call."
"Well, honey, take this opportunity to go upstairs and reapply your makeup. Your face is all splotchy and your hair is a disaster. Go now, while Gray is occupied."
I wanted to scream at her, to tell her how awful it made me feel when she looked at me like I was some kind of mutant. Why could I never be good enough for her? Why could I never please her?
It was on days like this that I missed my mother most, even if I could barely remember her. In my mind she was bright and beautiful and wild—an orange poppy or a beautifully plumed bird. Summer mornings, we used to rush down to the beach to go swimming or build castles, and summer nights we'd catch fireflies until it was too dark to see. The ocean was the place where I felt closest to her. I clutched at her necklace—a silver dragonfly with blue and green glass wings—and felt an ache for her that took my breath away.
I had to get out of there. I had to go to the beach and swim—swim until my head cleared, my muscles ached, and my skin went numb—until I couldn't feel anything at all. I knew it would be rude to leave my own party and I'd probably pay for it later, but at that moment, I didn't care. It was almost as if I had no choice.
While the guests were eating their veggie burgers and tofu dogs in the kitchen, I snuck out the front door, determined to walk to the stony beach at the end of our block. The only thing that shook my resolve was seeing Gray Newman sitting on my curb, staring down at his phone like it had just bitten him. I intended to walk right past him and continue with my mission, but he shouted, "Yo, Townsend!"
Startled, I turned around. Yo, Townsend? Really?
"Where are you going?" he asked. He looked stunned, like he couldn't believe I was leaving my own party.
"To the opera," I said. My sarcasm was a defense mechanism. Truthfully, acting cool and aloof all the time exhausted me, particularly when the last thing I felt about Gray was aloof. His face hadn't registered my joke, and he was still looking mortally wounded. "Are you okay?" I asked, getting serious for a minute.
His eyes crinkled, like he was working something out in his head. "Yeah, I'm okay," he said. "I just keep choosing the wrong girls."
His face looked so sad and earnest, but I couldn't help feeling a sense of joy at this confession. He stood up and walked over to where I was standing. Barbara's earlier pronouncement about my splotchy face and messy hair echoed through my head, and I felt sweat beading at my temples. Somehow even in the full glare of the sun, Gray managed to look cool and unflustered. "You got a boyfriend, Townsend?"
My face grew even hotter than before. "There's a constant stream of them coming in and out of my house, haven't you noticed? I have to beat them off with a stick."
He laughed out loud, and I was surprised by how good this made me feel. Then he knitted his brow and stared at me. "You know, our schools are, like, five minutes from each other. It's weird that we never see each other."
"Yeah," I said, wondering where he was going with this.
"Do you ever go into town?"
"Waverly Falls?" He nodded. "No, I don't drive, remember?"
"Oh, right. Are you going to get your license soon?"
"Eventually," I said. "My dad's not a huge fan of the idea. He's afraid if I get my license, I'll take off and never come back."
"Is that a possibility?"
"I don't know," I said. "It's tempting."
Excerpted from A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont Copyright © 2012 by Eve Marie Mont. Excerpted by permission of K TEEN BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
A Breath of Eyre was a lovely debut novel about Emma Townsend who gets to live her own life as well as Jane Eyre’s in a fascinating re-telling that I loved. My favorite thing about modern retellings is looking for little references and clues to the original story. I had a lot of fun in A Breath of Eyre noticing the big and small references to Jane Eyre like similar plot points and even the similar school name. The first thing that struck me as charming was Emma’s connection to the world of Jane Eyre. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz because she starts to recognize characters from her real life which makes it hard to tell if she’s really living Jane Eyre’s life or if it’s all a dream. That sort of ambiguity is something I love to devour in stories. And since the author had done such a good job at creating strong, unique, and interesting characters, it was easy to recognize them in Jane Eyre’s life. As I was getting about a third of the way through the book, I started to feel like it was all very predictable. It wasn’t veering much from the Jane Eyre story at all. There were a lot of lines that came directly from Jane Eyre. Just as I was about to give up, the author threw a twist in there that I did not see coming. It was the kind of twist in a story that changes everything and gives you chills. I was glued to the book after that. And the story grew into so much more than a retelling. Overall, it was a great new take on the world of Jane Eyre that didn’t turn out to be as predictable as I feared it would. It’s an imaginative, tension-filled romance that I loved.
Imagine reading a book, feeling a connection with the protagonist and falling for the male lead. Then after a freak accident you wake up as that character. On her birthday, Emma leaves the party her stepmother planned against her wishes to go for a swim at the beach. When she starts to feel tired and tries to swim back to the shoreline, she realizes the undertow is strong and contemplates how easy it would be to just let go. A distance voice gives her renewed strength and the next thing she remembers is waking up and vaguely recalling someone standing over her. Back at home and trying to get away from concerned whispers about her state of mind, Emma opens a birthday gift — her mother's favourite book, <i>Jane Eyre</i> . Emma Townsend is a quiet, kindhearted bookworm who doesn't feel like she belongs anyway. Her father has distanced himself from her since the death of her mother. His new wife thinks Emma is troubled because of her non-existent social life and says she's acting more like her mother each day — whatever that means. She feels more connected to fictional characters in a book than anybody in the real world and after another traumatic event, she wakes up as Jane Eyre. It doesn't take long for her to feel more comfortable in Jane's world than she ever has in her own. So comfortable, that she's starting to forget her real self. I really enjoyed <i>A Breath of Eyre</i> and seeing the way Emma's character changes from the version I first meet and the one I leave on the last page. While Emma embraces the character of Jane Eyre and follows her actions at first, the parts I enjoyed the most were when she stops being Jane and starts being herself — making things unpredictable. With the help of literature she works through her problems and becomes a stronger person for herself and those around her who need help. <i>A Breath of Eyre</i> is an adventurous and moving debut that gives you the best of two worlds — contemporary and classic. I love how Eve Marie Mont made me look at a classic in a whole new way. The writing and how the story unfolds while keeping things mysterious is amazing. I look forward to reading how she brings the two worlds together again in <i>A Touch of Scarlet</i> .
First, a disclaimer ... Eve Marie Mont is a fellow Class of 2k12 and Apocalypsie debut author, and although I've never met her in person, I have enormous love and respect for her. That said, I was a bit concerned about reading A BREATH OF EYRE because obviously this is a book about Jane Eyre and although I love historical fiction, I am not a fan of classic literature. Really. To the point that one of my favorite quotes comes from Mark Twain - "Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig Jane Austen up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone." So when I received an ARC of A BREATH OF EYRE in the mail, I was happily surprised about two things ... 1) you don't have to have read Jane Eyre to fall in love with A BREATH OF EYRE and 2) the majority of A BREATH OF EYRE takes place in present day ... I'd call it a contemporary novel with a paranormal twist. I was hooked on page 1 by M/C Emma's dry sense of humor and she wastes no time finding herself in a dangerous situation. Her travels into the past are so beautifully written, it's whet my appetite to give the classics another try. What blew me away the most was how brilliantly Eve Marie Mont wove the two stories together, how the themes from Jane Eyre are so significant today and how often I was awestruck by Mont's ingenious metaphors (and swoony kissing scenes!) Charlotte Bronte would be thrilled to know her story inspired A BREATH OF EYRE, and because of its intriguing concept, fast-paced plot, well-rounded characters and realistic dialogue, engaging voice and brilliant execution, I shower it with well-deserved stars! And for fun, at the end of the book there's a quiz to find out which classic heroine you are ... I'm Catherine (which means I should go read Wuthering Heights ;) And one more thing ... pictured on the back are the covers of Eve Marie Mont's next two novels, and they look amazing!!!
This is a good book.
This was a cute story with a nice twist to it. If you want something fun to read this is for you. To each his own is all i have to say to the people below.
First I have to say that reading a book of romance between 16 and 18 year old kids which is basically highschool crush not that interesting. There are many books that cover this subject and the story itself had not much to recomand it. But my problem is the other part of the book. If the author had read the original Jane Eyre she would have read the part of confessions by Mr. Rochester about his marriage. She would have read that not only his wife was insane before she married him but he stayed with her for 4 years even though she cheated on him was nasty, drunk and abusive and got worse by day and when he brought her to his home she was beyond help. Making Mr. Rochester a monster who brought his healthy and beautiful wife to show off and left her alone all the time and locked his depresses wife because she missed her family and after losing their baby, which was never mentioned in the book, is a slap to the face of one of the most beautifully written romance novels. I know that this book is all about girl power and all that but could you please leave classic books like this alone. Making Jane and Bertha one and the same character is crazy. One selfless and quiet and the other about slf indulgent and excess.I wish the author would have stuck with the original story. For me all through the book the way it was written felt like that the author is stuck some where between her idea of this classic book and the book Twilight. I kept waiting for the vampires and the wolfs to come in. At least that one had originality if not great writting skill. This book had so much potentials but I wont read the rest of the series.Sorry to say that this one will go to my archive files.
This felt like it could be on a Junior High reading list and would probably be a good book for a young teen to read. The writing style felt immature to me and I really did not enjoy the storyline
I have to disagree with the vast majority of the reviews unfortunately. I wasn't a fan of the authors writing style and did not like how the Jane Eyre story tied in with the rest of the story. The modern tale of Emma I found lacking in complexity or originality. I am a huge fan of Brontes Jane Eyre and although I won't give spoilers, but I did not like Emma's feelings toward Mr. Rochester at the end of of the book when she was Jane and did not like the uncovered identity of who Bertha Mason really was in regaurds to Emma. When one reads Jane Eyre it is supposed to give one a feeling of hopeful romanticism and a hope that things will eventually work out for a happy ending. Instead Mont portrays Rochester as a monster of sorts and that is not how I enterpreted him in the orginal Jane Eyre. This is just my opinion and no disrespect to those who did love the book, everyone has their own reasons for liking of disliking a book. I disliked this book.
This book was actually really good, but u can get it a the library too
I recalled wanting to read this but for reason, not picking it up. So I started to read and thought it was good but okay. Then I kept reading and found it to be pretty good. It seems most books I been reading lately or in the past, either are like or similar to Jane Eyre or has the same kind of theme or feel to it. This included in a way. The pace flowed nicely and kept me wondering when not reading, with how Emma dealt with both her world and Jane's and what would she learn from it. I liked her friends Owen and Michelle and how supportive they were to not only Emma but to each other. And how near the end you could tell Emma and everyone else had things they were dealing with. Interesting twist and perspective with one of the characters from the story. I do wonder what other books Emma will find herself in next? It does make me want to see the 2006 version again.
The Perfect Mix of Past and Present! I adored Mont's ability to seamlessly mix the story of Jane Eyre with a current plot and interesting, engaging modern characters. A BREATH OF EYRE is the perfect mix of past and present and it will pave the way for new readers to explore a classic while still being relevant to the needs of today's teen readers. I can't wait to start A TOUCH OF SCARLET
Unhappy 16 year old scholarship student at exclusive private school becomes enamored with the novel "Jane Eyre", and following a freak accident, enters Jane's world. Fresh view of the novel's plot and characters, meshing seamlessly into Emma's modern-day life.
Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite novel. It was the only thing that kept me company when I was in my pre-teens. It was the book I relied on. I couldn't get enough of the movie and tv adaptations that I decided to search around for retellings and re-adaptations of the novel and I found A Breath of Eyre. I was ecstatic and thrilled about my find that I bought it immediately. The moment it arrived, I started reading it and I knew I couldn't stop. Emma Townsend is a lonely teenager who confides herself in Jane Eyre's world. And when disaster strikes in reality her whole world turns upside down and she's thrown into the fantasy that is Jane Eyre's shoes (literally). She lives out Jane's life for her. She teaches Adele, chats with Mrs. Fairfax and falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester. Her image of reality and fantasy slips a little the first time she makes it to Jane's world. But when she returns to reality, she wants nothing more than to escape back to the illusion of Jane's world. By illusion, I don't mean Emma is crazy and is seeing things. Each time she's in Jane's world, she's in a coma in reality. As she explores her feelings in Jane's shoes, the author changed my whole outlook of my childhood best friend Jane and my childhood crush, Mr. Rochester. She portrayed Jane Eyre as a feminist that stupidly fell in love with a controlling monster who married his wife, Bertha for money then drove her into a state of loneliness and depression. This eventually drove her so insane and violent that he locked her up like an animal just because he didn't want to deal with her. If I think about it long enough, it may look that way if we sat in Bertha Mason's place. But honestly, what happened to the bi-polar-ness that drove every female in Bertha's family insane? Bertha Mason is self-destructive, and Rochester did what every man would do in that era: lock her up because they were afraid of a mental illness that they did not understand. I see no harm in Mont's perception of Jane Eyre, after all everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And this particular opinion can be a real eye-opener and I tip my hat to Mont for her concept twist. The unique twist, the emotional and dark characters, the romance, the fights and interactions that were realistic, brought this book together pretty well. Despite all the copy-paste from the original Jane Eyre book, I still found myself loving this book, if not whole-heartedly but sincere enough to say that I adored the message that came with it: Appreciate and be grateful of the people who love you in reality because people in fantasies are just scripted, unreal and well... an illusion. Nothing beats reality, even if reality beats you.
What a great book & excellent way to bring me to a love of the classics! Loved how the modern & past stories intertwined & correlated! Can't wait for the next book.
Reviewed by Karen P. for Readers Favorite This is such a fun read! In "A Breath of Eyre", author Eve Marie Mont has taken the reader back in time to put her main character Emma Townsend squarely in the circumstances of Jane Eyre. It is Emma's 16th birthday and Emma is struggling to make even a modicum of sense of her current life. Her mother is dead. Her father has remarried and Emma considers her new stepmother more of a nuisance than a friend. Emma has a crush on Gray Newman but he seems much more interested in the fancy socialites at the school Emma attends than he does in the plain and practical Emma Townsend. When Emma begins her sophomore year at the elite school, she is roomed with another misfit who knows she does not belong. When the girls pair up to show the socialites they are serious about being heard at the school, chaos ensues and Emma is transported back in time to a place in which motivations and emotions are equally elusive. Mont skillfully develops her characters, both the likeable and the unlikeable. Teens will definitely identity with the confused 16 year old character of Emma and older adults will be infused with memories of their own chaotic teenage years. The interweaving of the Jane Eyre story into a modern day setting is nothing short of brilliant and the plot keeps a pace in which the reader will find it difficult not to try to squeeze in "just one more chapter." This book was a find and it is one I will pass down to my friends.
A breath of Eyre, by Eve Marie Mont Emma Townsend is an average teenage girl who was raised mostly by her father. Her mother died when Emma was very young and her death has a bit of a mystery around it. The book starts when Emma gets a scholarship to attend a prestigious highschool. She is a smart and quiet girl and she feels very out of her depth at her boarding school. She soon meets Michelle, her dorm roomate, and Owen, a free spirited boy from a neighboring school and they all become fast friends. Emma also discovers that a childhood crush and neighbor, Gray Newman goes to school with Owen. Some things to know are… 1. *Michelle has tons of issues about her mother who is also dead and about being a scholarship kid surrounded by rich kids. 2. *Emma has a very strained relationship with her dad and her stepmother. 3. *Gray has secrets in his past that he doesn’t want Emma to know about and a nasty ex-girlfriend who goes around causing all kinds of trouble. (These are just some of the issues these kids are dealing with) Emma goes to a party with Michelle one night and after an upsetting incident she goes for a walk where she is struck by lightning. When she wakes up she finds that she has been transported into the book she is reading for one of her classes “Jane Eyre”. (I love “Jane Eyre” by the way) I really liked the idea of this story and was very happy when the author was nice enough to send me a copy. I took my time with this book and found it very easy to read. I thought it was well written and I liked how things connected together in the end. Emma was my favorite character and I found that she was someone I would like to be friends with. I also really liked Gray though at times I found it hard to relate to him. The character I had a real issue with was Michelle. She was moody and seemed to blame others for everything that happened to her. That being said, Michelle did have her good moments and I liked her aunt. I enjoyed the bits of “Jane Eyre” that were woven throughout this book and the different perspective on those classic characters. The romance between Emma and Gray was sweet and satisfying but didn’t overpower the story. My very favorite things about “A breath of Eyre” were the life lessons learned by the characters in the story. Things like the value of true friendship, the power of forgiveness, tolerance of other’s situations, and the importance of family are just some of the issues tackeled in this book. I discovered some real gems in this sweet and wonderfully complex story. I think everyone will fall in love with this book. I look forward to the two other books that follow “A breath of Eyre”. “A touch of scarlet” and “A phantom enchantment” are the further adventures of Emma Townsend.
While A Breath of Eyre retains some of the original plot and characters from Jane Eyre, all similarities end there. There was much about the character of Emma that reminded me of my own high school years which was just the first thing that held my attention. There have been a lot of characters I have related to but none as much as Emma Townsend. All of the characters had strong voices and the plot brought forth many issues that teens and adults alike suffer from. After reading A Breath of Eyre I was left wanting more of the brooding Gray Newman.
This was hard to rate. It was predictable but got more interesting as the story went on . The story is full of symbolism related to a young girl's current life to the classic "Jane Erye " story . I will read the next book because I feel the author has promise. I actually feel this should be a lendable book ...too bad it is not one.