“Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.”
I'm a little late to the Thursday Next party, but I'm happy to now be a part of it! The Eyre Affair is the first novel of the Thursday Next Series and it was such a fun read. Fford has created an alternate history in which the lines between reality and fiction become blurred and people can literally step into the pages of a book, meet its central characters, and experience the setting for themselves. With that they can also manipulate the outcome of the novel and even kidnap fictional characters. Enter LiteraTec Thursday Next, a literary protector of sorts, working to maintain the authenticity of great works of literature.
The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we thing; a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning.If you haven't already guessed, this is definitely a book for book lovers as it's filled with literary references. I don't want to give away much of the plot, because the not knowing is what makes it so enjoyable. The story is incredibly imaginative and odd, but I mean that in the best possible way. I will say it took me about 100 plus pages to really get into the book, so don't get discouraged if you pick it up and feel confused or removed; if you keep going I promise you will be rewarded in the second half of the novel. I should also mention you'll probably enjoy this book much more if you have already read or are very familiar with Jane Eyre. I wouldn't say Rochester and Jane are main characters per se, but their story is at the forefront of the novel (hence the title The Eyre Affair) and the bits in which they appeared were among my favorite parts of the book. Fford did a great job maintaining the genuine feel of the characters and I appreciated the novel that much more because of those details.
All in all this was a fun, substantial read. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys studying literature and those who love Jane Eyre. A special thanks to Alley for recommending this book so highly. There are currently a total of seven books in the Thursday Next series and I look forward to picking up the second, Lost In a Good Book.
Publisher: Penguin, 2001