Becoming Jane Eyre is a smashing book and a welcome addition to the growing body of work on the Brontë sisters.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was ground-breaking at the time of its publication and Sheila Kohler’s novel, Becoming Jane Eyre, breaks its own ground in bringing the Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, back to life. Kohler zeros in on that Victorian period of time in which Charlotte wrote her famous novel and follows her through the book’s arduous journey to publication, her marriage and ultimately, her untimely death.
Kohler is a no-frills writer who pulls the reader into the world of women who dared to live beyond their station. It is a story of unrequited love, familial devotion in the face of illness, death and madness, and strength of spirit that should bring today’s female writers rousingly to their feet in admiration and gratitude.
Becoming Jane Eyre is a compassionately intelligent imagining of the life of a remarkable writer and the times in which she wrote. As soon as you finish Kohler’s book, take another look at Jane Eyre. I can almost guarantee you that Brontë’s novel will be all the richer for having read Kohler’s.