Book Review

Review: Brightly Burning

Brightly Burning

Written by: Alexa Donne

‎Clarion Books


A sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre, Brightly Burning takes readers into Earth Orbit and follows Stella as she becomes a governess on the mysterious Rochester ship.

Thoroughly engaging, Brightly Burning is a unique retelling of a classic that does not fail to build up its own story with thrilling plot twists.

Inventive, Gothic & Romantic

I love Jane Eyre, the classic is one of my favorites, right next to Wuthering Heights, so when I saw this, I had to have it. After reading it, I’m a little angry at myself for letting it sit on my shelf for many years.

Due to a severe ice age, Stella and much of Earth’s civilization live on space shuttles orbiting Earth’s orbit. At the moment, no one knows when the ice age will finally dissipate. But time is running short as most of the ships were not built to survive past the initial projection.

For Stella, that’s her ship. Eager to escape the role of engineering and the death sentence of her ship that is slowly failing and crumbling around her, she applies to be a teacher/governess on the Rochester. And much to her luck, she succeeds.

A lot of mystery surrounds the Rochester that pulled out of orbit with the rest of the ships to orbit the moon. With a small tight crew, Stella can’t help but feel as though they are hiding something. Readers familiar with the tale can guess who and what they are hiding. But 18-year-old Stella is not faced with a scorned wife but rather with the scorned mother of Hugo, captain of the Rochester.

I love that plot twists because it allows the characters to truly bond with one another, especially over their love of reading. And it also gives some more depth and dimension to Hugo’s alcoholism and relationship with his little sister. At such a young age, he was robbed of a father and became the sole caretaker to his sister and mad mother.

But more secrets linger within the dark confines of the ship that threaten more than his family’s safety, putting the well-being of the fleet in danger. Secrets Stella uncovers, making her public enemy number one. Save one or save thousands? Stella would rather sacrifice her happiness to reveal the corruption and save thousands.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved this novel. Brightly Burning took something I loved and breathed new and inventive life into it.


Brightly Burning - A Must-Read for Jane Eyre Fans

A sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre, Brightly Burning takes readers into Earth Orbit and follows Stella as she becomes a governess on the mysterious Rochester ship.

Character Development:
Couldn't Put It Down-ness:
Writing Development:

Cynthia Ayala-Bujnicki majored in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Editor-in-chief of Cyn's Workshop, she loves to read and write while tending to her pepper plants. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband, two kids Dante and Selene and two furbabies Mr. J the Kitten who Thinks He's Batman (yes, that is his full name) and Nyx.