Dear Jane by Marina Delvecchio
ABOUT THE BOOK
Kit Kat is a fifteen-year-old adoptee who writes letters to her favorite literary character, Jane Eyre, as a means of surviving a violent childhood in Greece and a harrowing adoption in New York that requires her to silence her memories and her voice. In writing letters to Jane, Kit Kat discovers a connection to literature that saves her life. Dear Jane is about family, love, forgiveness, and the power of a good book.
This is what my adoption is like, you know? I have a family and home, but I can’t be myself. It’s quite similar to dying. In order to live here, with my new mother – in order to gain her love – I have to give up pieces of myself. That’s not love.
This coming of age story is set in the late 70’s, early 80’s in Greece and New York. Kit Kat (Elektra) has had an abusive, lonely and heartbreaking life, and she finds solace in Charlotte Bronte’s character, Jane Eyre. Kit Kat relates to Jane’s similar upbringing and lonely and solitary existence finding strength in Jane’s courage during dark and tragic times in her life.
DelVecchio’s book format written in letters to Jane Eyre and her comparison of Kit Kat’s and Jane’s lives is highly original and clever. The characters have real problems and real feelings with triggers of abuse and suicide. Kit Kat’s life is full of abandonment from her father, mother and aunt when they ship her to New York from Greece to her new adopted mother, Ann, who changes her name from Elektra to Kathryn and makes her keep quiet about her past.
It is heartbreaking watching Kit Kat’s struggle to find herself and overcome the pain of her past and present, but Bronte’s novel inspired her to go on.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good book!
I highly recommend Ms. DelVecchio’s book and hope to read more!
Marina DelVecchio teaches writing, literature, and Women’s Studies as a full-time professor in North Carolina. Her essays appear on Ms. Magazine, the Huffington Post, Her Circle Ezine, The New Agenda, and BlogHer. She has worked as a contributing women’s literature reviewer for Her Circle Ezine and the Feminist Book Review, and assistant editor of poetry and non-fiction for the QU Literary Magazine.
You can find Marina on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on her website.