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Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park

Re Jane: A Novel (2015)

by Patricia Park

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Pitched as a kind of retelling of Jane Eyre from the viewpoint of a young Korean-American orphan in Queens, New York, I found this book unsatisfying in that sense but brilliant and delicious as a kind of coming-of-age story. Jane's journey in finding herself -- as a Korean-American, woman, lover, professional -- was captivating. A top 10 read of 2016. ( )
  unabridgedchick | Oct 23, 2017 |
A touching, funny, and clever novel about family, love, what is means to be yourself, and how difficult it can be to figure out how to live as yourself. Park's writing is clear, mischievous, and compelling. I wanted to know what Jane was going to make of her life. ( )
  eachurch | Feb 21, 2017 |
strong start, ok finish but overall good debut. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
If you know Jane Eyre well, it's fun to read the book and pick out all the parallels. In the end, though, it felt like the references were the main point of the novel; I wasn't sure exactly what else Park was trying to say with her book. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
I complained on Goodreads and Litsy about the way this book is marketed as a Jane Eyre retelling. Which makes a reader come into it with certain expectations, especially a ‘what would Jane do?’ kind of perspective. Perhaps it’s better to say that it’s loosely inspired by Jane Eyre, that this half-Korean young woman, a recent college grad, trying to find her own way in the world and out from under the thumb of her uncle, who has raised her, who owns a small supermarket. She takes on a job as an au pair for an adopted Chinese girl and falls for her boss. No one dies in this book but Jane eventually flees the US and returns to Seoul and that is when the book really opens up for me. This perspective of seeing Korea through the eyes of a returning overseas Korean. But that may just be me, as I tend to be interested in the narrative of returning diaspora. ( )
  RealLifeReading | Nov 5, 2016 |
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"Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!" --Jane Eyre
There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet. --T.S. Eliot, "The Love of J. Alfred Profrock"
Homeward bound I wish I was. --Simon & Garfunkle, "Homeward Bound" (music and lyrics by Paul Simon)
Commuters give the city it's tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. --E. B. White, "Here is New York"
To Umma and Abba
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Home was this northeastern knot of Queens, in the town (if you could call it a town) of Flushing.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525427406, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:22 -0400)

Jane Re--a half-Korean, half-American orphan--takes a position as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, but a brief sojourn in Seoul, where she reconnects with family, causes her to wonder if the man she loves is really the man for her as she tries to find balance between two cultures.… (more)

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