Re Jane by Patricia Park

Re Jane

Patricia Park

A contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre, Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

Start Reading….

Read Excerpt Now


Sign me up to receive news about Patricia Park.

Place our blog button on your blog to let people know you are a member of this great program!

Re Jane is snappy and memorable, with its clever narrator and insights on clashing cultures.”—Entertainment Weekly

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut.

Advance Galley Reviews

I don't know what to make of this. While it is most certainly delightful and a fun easy read, something seems to be really amiss. While I did enjoy it in bits and pieces, there seems to be dots that needed to be linked. However, the writing is brilliant, the character delightful and the crux of the story is cleverly imagined.

Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time. Sometimes retellings just aren't good out of early Victorian context -- an employer seducing his employee is strange and creepy by today's standards. In fact, the 1950s retelling by Margot Livesey is proof that a Jane Eyre retelling should not be written verbatim, because it just won't work. Patricia Park's retelling is damn near perfect. Modern day, with modern concepts and modern culture and modern misunderstandings and modern personal growth -- it's all there. And what's even better is that Park focuses on Jane the way all Jane Eyre retellings should be doing: on her internal journey, rather than her romantic journey. Yes, JE is a romance, but the majority of the novel is her coming to terms with who she is in the world. This Korean Jane does EXACTLY THAT. Plus, diversity. Come on. Who doesn't love a good, diversity-filled story? Tired of seeing spoiled white people in NYC settings -- NYC is filled with different cultures and it's nice to see that here!

I love Jane Eyre, but you have to admit the mysterious, troubled rich guy seducing his young, inexperienced employee is a tad creepy. I liked how this story interacted with that dynamic, and I liked that the novel presented the immigrant Korean culture without making it too lesson-y (most of the time). Some of the supporting characters were a little flat, but Jane was delightful even when she was being obtuse. I also enjoyed a modern but pre-cellphone setting, plus a NYC novel that wasn't focused on upper middle class white people behaving badly. I've already recommended this one and I expect will be doing so again.

I enjoyed this book immensely. This was an interesting and timely twist on an adaptation of Jane Eyre. The plot includes so events and concepts that have formed our recent culture -- 9/11, the immigrant experience, multicultural relationships -- that the story is so much more than a chick lit adaptation. The comedy makes the book fun to read, and the characters, especially Jane, are richly created. I loved watching (reading about) Jane's growth and self-realization, moving away from, yet keeping the important parts of her culture. I recommend this story for a fun and entertaining read.

I really liked this book. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books so I was very interested by the description. This book is loosely based on the story of Jane Eyre. Enough to make it interesting, but not so much that the plot is given away. I thought the character of Jane was well written. I could understand her frustrations and most of her bad decisions. But, I didn't understand he staying with Ed in the second part of the book. Maybe it was just the way he was written. His character seemed to go flat once Jane was back in New York. I don't know what Jane saw....he's no Rochester!

This is a very loose adaptation of Jane Eyre set up in a pre- and post-9/11 NYC. The changes that the book makes to the classic story help make it more believable for the modern era. However, a lot of the characters, particularly the side ones, felt very flat and one-dimensional. You rarely get to see the motivation behind their actions. And the dialogue and writing sometimes felt very choppy, but I wasn't sure if that was an effect of having it partially always in a "second language."

I am an absolute sucker for a loose adaptation. Clueless is my favorite Austen adaptation, I think Easy A is an actual masterpiece. When I was five, I saw The Lion King in theaters about six million times and Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play these days. Adaptations and retellings need to get to the heart of the thing, they don't need to be an attempt at a perfect reproduction. Re Jane hits that note so hard and so good. Jane Eyre is a bildungsroman about a young woman finding her place in the society that is available to her. The fact that being a live-in nanny is kind of timeless is icing. Park accomplishes a fairly extraordinary juggling act: it's race, gender, labor, geography, class, made explicit all at once. She is aware of Wide Sargasso Sea, she is aware of the Madwoman in the Attic. To grapple with Jane Eyre is to grapple with Bertha Mason and Park creates dozens (like, actually) of fully-realized characters who make sense, who have interior lives that Jane (our narrator) doesn't see but that we must. This book is lived in; the two hundred plus years of literature that this book could be bogged down by becomes its greatest strength. The Bertha Mason Problem is a footnote, no one gets locked away. I don't have much patience for the post-9/11 NYC novel after my year in an American Literature graduate program (my focus was on the contemporary). I mean, there are a lot of them. But this is that in much the same way that Americanah is: it's about the gentrification of the boroughs, about people for whom nationalism is much more complicated. I'm burying the lead because this is a book that is about finding a way through multi-national identity via stories. (I keep finding myself mid-"this book is about..." because it's SUCH a rich text.) I caught stuff from all over the English canon in this book, not just Bronte: Joyce, T.S. Eliot, to name a couple. It makes me want to call this The American Novel but none of that stuff is actually that and neither is Re Jane. But Park is forcing a seat at the table for stories of really messy Korean/American identity, for stories about women who are growing up and it hurts. I'm hungry for that and this delivers.

Re Jane is an excellent chick lit novel that goes well beyond the stereotype and is more literary than chickarary. The novel is about a young Korean American growing up in Queens New York where she helps her uncle with his grocery store. She also lived with him and hsi family since her mother's death in Korea years before. After graduating college, trying to find a job in the rough economy she decided to take a job as an au pair just top get herself out of the store and into the wider world of...Brooklyn. There she comes almost a part of the Mazer-Farley household whose parents were professors, Beth, teaching women's studies at Columbia and Ed teaching in a private school while working on his dissertation. Their daughter Devon is an adopted Chinese child and soon she and Jane become fats friends and conspirators against her mother's narrow rules. Ed becomes a part of her liffe as well, both meeting in the kitchen late at night eating forbidden sandwiches and talking about serious things that they cant' t talk about with Beth. Things begin to spin out of control and on the eve of 9/11 Jane decides to hop a plane to Korea and starts a new life there. Re Jane is a wonderful book and I loved it! It was somewhat predictable but had a lot of surprises too. The story is hilarious and poignant, heartwarming and tragic. It is a celebration of life, love and family ties and will make you think. The section of the book set in Korea was like a journey there and I learned quite a bit about the Korean culture from Ms Park's book. This is one of those books I didn't want to end. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves stories about real women and other cultures and want to celebrate the City and the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. I received a copy of Re Jane from First To Read in exchange for my honest review. They really do have good quality books on offer each month and I appreciate them letting us have a look at authors we know and new writers for discovery.

Have to agree with other reviews...this book was okay. Vaguely followed the Jane Eyre storyline. Have been to South Korea....wonderful place and found the explanation of their values and customs intriguing. But overall...story dragged. Finished the book, but honestly thought the book went on way too long. Disappointing read

This book was ok. Not exactly in line with Jane Eyre but I liked the twists the story took. I thought the characters were a little flat and I skimmed through a lot of it as the story just wasn't holding my interest, especially the middle third. I would recommend it if someone is looking for a quick light read. I also think this could be much better as an audiobook since a narrator could really bring the characters alive.

Re Jane was an interesting read. The tie to Jane Eyre is loose at best, but Jane was a captivating character. I kept reading just to see what she would do next. The language was rich and descriptive, and I enjoyed learning about other cultures and traditions. I just kept waiting for something more to occur, and it all felt anticlimactic in the end. Maybe touting it as a retelling of Jane Eyre in the beginning set up expectations for me that were not realized.

The connection to Jane Eyre is very tentative, not a retelling but an "inspired by". That said, the story is a smooth read about the immigrant experiences of two cultures and finding where you fit in life. It was enjoyable and interesting. Nothing gives us an explanation of the author's connection to Korea but I believe there must be one. Secondary subjects are family influences and faithfulness to relationships. Very good light literature and pleasant flowing prose. I would recommend it for most women.

Jane Re's account of her neighborhood and the Korean culture is well described, though it feels a bit stereotypical. In the midst of typical Asian deference, the most interesting character is Eunice. Unfortunately, her part is short-lived as she moves away to follow her dreams. Jane, in the beginning, fits into a seemingly neat box of family obligation until rare moment she decides to take a job as a nanny. This decision will remove Jane from her family business and family home, introducing her to the strange ways of the Mazer-Farley home. Jane begins to find her identity, not in her nanny duties, but in her late night snacks with Ed Farley. In a way, Ed's wife Beth almost pushes Jane towards Ed as she touts her feminist agenda. Jane struggles with herself as she seeks love and self-actualization. Her fights with family and friends seem rooted in reality, but don't always propel the story forward. I was disappointed with this book after it being put up against Jane Eyre. I still enjoyed the book, but couldn't stop thinking it didn't stand up to expectations.

I'm not familiar with Jane Eyre. I have not read it or seen a movie. I went into this with nothing to compare this retelling too. I enjoyed Jane's story. She was flawed, she made mistakes, and she learns from them. I found myself rooting for Jane and I was able to empathize with her through out her journey. I enjoyed the time in South Korea and learning a little bit about that culture. I was also liked seeing a little bit into the Korean American culture. There were times in the book where it seemed to drag a bit, but overall I enjoyed the story. Received a galley copy through the First to Read program.

This is a very modern day female coming-of-age story about living for one's self. I enjoyed the different phases Jane Re went through, and how realistic the story is. Jane is thrown into many situations to which she has to figure out what the right choices are for her. While parts of this book were great and very relatable, overall, I believe it fell a little flat. The characters were too stereotypical for my liking--Beth, the feminist PhD, with the underarm hair, healthy eating, and PC. There were a couple times when I wondered if I would ever make it through the book.

Loosely following Jane Eyre, this novel explores family, work, relationships, the immigrant experience and life in New York during the years around September 11. Jane Re is Korean-American and lives a restricted life with her uncle in Queens. She has lost her first position post college with a financial firm and decides to become a nanny to an adopted Chinese girl and her strange family in Brooklyn. The characters are all richly developed and even ones that seem like caricature are more fully fleshed out by the end. Once I started this, I found it hard to put down and I thought it was a really good book. I received an electronic galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Overall, I thought the book was okay. There were times when I felt as if the story line wasn't interesting or captivating. I like how the story is a modern tale of Jane Eyre and the creativity is great. I would say if anyone has time to kill and want to read about cultural differences and experiences, this would be a good book for you. But I personally have mixed feelings and didn't enjoy it as much, but thats just me.

I'm not really sure how to begin a review of this book, except to say that I hated it. I'll admit it - I didn't finish it - but how could I possibly have when the stereotypical characterization of people, places, and culture is nearly impossible to bear! If you're looking for a mildly romantic and/or basic "coming-of-culture" story, this might be for you. But don't look here if you want a dimensional story full of dimensional people living dimensional lives in dimensional places. I wanted to like this so badly; the premise is great and the setting held so much potential, but I couldn't even get through the first two pages without feeling awkward about what I was reading. Try it, because it might be for you. Unfortunately, not for me.


Copy the following link