"Jane, Unlimited" by Kristin Cashore

I am an unrepentant fan of Kristin Cashore and her work. I hold up Jane, Unlimited to the universe*, and all in it, and say, “There! See? Kristin Cashore is brilliant!” She spreads her literary wings and soars in this novel, sharing intriguing ideas and plying her craft with consummate skill. She has created an abundance of settings and a diverse crowd of splendid, memorable, complicated, (and sometimes flawed), characters to surround, intrigue and infuriate, brave, broken-hearted Jane.

Kristin Cashore fans, I beseech you, don’t read any more, just dive in and enjoy.

If you need convincing - oh ye of little faith - Ms. Cashore has sewn into the fabric of this book dozens of her favourite places, settings, books, works of art, and other interesting things. Use it as the focus of a book club, together with Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier; Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte; The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh, Chapter 8: In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition [sic] to the North Pole and more. (See the author’s acknowledgements) The book club could also virtually visit the paintings, sculptures and museums mentioned in this novel, but I digress.

Jane explores a rambling architecturally mismatched mansion – alternately an A.I. spaceship, which makes Arthur C. Clarke’s HAL look like a lap dog - pursuing four mysteries. She finds a living library, undulating with colour (the books catalogued by the hues of their spines); a heroic, almost telepathic basset hound; secret passages and portals; an alternate world; multiverse theories; art history lessons; extraordinary sculptures and paintings including a Rembrandt and last but not least, many gorgeous, eclectic umbrellas, critical to several plot points... Actually so is the basset hound. Recommend this book to ardent readers, both young adults and grown-ups.

(*I should say Multiverse.)


Hardcover LBN pr1271112

Audiobook LBN pr1294394

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