Jillian Dare – A Novel

Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England. She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding?

This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic Jane Eyre, will capture readers’ hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jillian Dare: A Novel, go HERE

My two cents worth:

Putting a contemporary spin on a classic is hard work, but Melanie Jeschke does a nice job. Unlike some rewrites, Jeschke keeps the novel extremely close to the original – even using exact quotes sometimes. Many of her contemporary upgrades were clever and believable. For a first novel, she seemed to have fun writing it and expressed her interest in Jane Eyre through her close response to detail.

Now, as a Jane Eyre enthusiast, I found myself too attracted to Mr. Remington at a very early state in the book. I suppose that needed to happen, since we ‘modern ladies’ might not be as fond of a brooding rogue such as Edward Rochester. I also didn’t find myself as ‘connected’ to Jillian as I wanted to be, as if she distanced herself from the reader as well as the other characters. Maybe that was Jeschke’s design.

Overall, it was a fun read with all the nice markings of its regency counterpart: mystery, drama, romance, and inspiration. Bravo to Melanie on this novel and I look forward to reading more, especially if she uses the Blue Ridge Mountains and England as a combination backdrop.

About the Author

Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced jes-key), a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa with an Honors degree in English Literature and a minor in European and English History.A free-lance travel writer, Melanie contributed the Oxford chapter to the Rick Steves’ England 2006 guidebook. She is a member of the Capital Christian Writers and Christian Fiction Writers as well as three book clubs, and taught high-school English before home-schooling most of her nine children.

Melanie lectures on Lewis and Tolkien, Oxford, and writing, and gives inspirational talks to all manner of groups, including university classes, women’s clubs, young professionals, teens, and school children.

A fourth generation pastor’s wife (her father Dr. Earl Morey is a retired Presbyterian minister), Melanie resides in the Greater Washington, D.C. area with her children and husband Bill Jeschke, a soccer coach and the Senior Pastor of The King’s Chapel, an non-denominational Christian church in Fairfax, Virginia.

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