Jane has lived in Flushing, Queens her entire life. After she was orphaned as a baby, her grandfather sent her from South Korea to live with her Uncle in America. She was always told it was for her own good due to the fact that her father was an American G.I. During that time, many Koreans were still racist towards biracial people. Jane doesn't see how growing up in Korea could have been any worse then the life she has in Flushing. She felt the same prejudices in America. She was, if not shunned, then kept at a distance by her peers. At home, she feels she is treated no better then an indentured servant. When she is offered the chance to work as a au pair for the Mazer-Farley family, she jumps at the chance. The Mazer-Farleys may be a little odd, but they treat her well and Jane absolutely loves their daughter, Devon. Things are great at first, then two things happen. She starts to fall in the with her employer, Ed, and there is a sudden death in her family that will send her rushing to Korea. Jane will find out the Korea of today is very different then the Korea she has heard about her entire life. It might even be the perfect place for her.
This was without a doubt the best retelling of Jane Eyre I have ever read. Park's writing is pure magic. The story never felt rushed or felt dragging at any point. The changes she made to the original story, in order to make it work for the early 2000s setting , felt right. All the characters were unique with their own distinct personalities. The American and Korean story-lines worked really well together. The only real problem I had with the book was Ed. It seems he is supposed to come of as loving and nurturing. Just a guy who had things turn out differently then plan. To me, though, he came off as manipulative and controlling. He was definitely no Mr. Rochester.
I will definitely keep an eye out for future titles by Park.
**Thank you Pamela Dorman Books/PENGUIN GROUP Viking and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review**