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 19th-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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carole T. on 02-06-15
Great Book, but Seriously. . .
A cautionary tale for Audio fans - this could be a really fun book to read, but beware this narrator!
I loved the take on "Jane Eyre", the characters are bright and involving, and the twist on the old story is entirely appropriate for modern audiences. This is a mish-mash of cultural clashes and identities, of academic farce (Victorian Women's Studies!) and political correctness. It moves easily from New York to South Korea and back again- and our Jane does indeed learn a lot about life and love and belonging.
But I nearly returned this audio book, and the reason is the narrator. Seriously, it's difficult to bear throughout. Diana Bang literally "reads" this as if she were experiencing the words and public recital for the first time. Exactly the same emphasis is placed on each and every word - including "is" and "a" and "the"! The cadence is always the same. It diminished the experience for me, and I am looking forward to getting a hard copy.
I'd advise listening to the sample carefully before committing to this listen. "Re Jane" has proven (to me, at least) that, once again, the reader can make or break even the most interesting of books.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Book Club Facilitator on 07-12-15
Absolutely terrible narration...
This was my book club's selection which I wouldn't have picked on my own because I'm not a fan of coming-of-age stories. However, I was intrigued by the novel being cross-cultural and I have lived in both NYC and Seoul, so I was actually looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, Ms. Bang destroyed this novel with her narration. She read this as if she was on stage at a poetry slam. I wish I had abandoned the audio version and read the book on my Kindle.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful