Release Date: March 27, 2012
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Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. 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 prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is 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 known—and 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…
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, Jane Eyre.
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 A Breath of Eyre 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.
A Breath of Eyre 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 A Touch of Scarlet.