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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
When Kit Kat is adopted by the middle-aged, childless Anna, what Kit Kat wants most, apart from love, is an identity...her own, including her sad past as the abandoned, unwanted Elektra, daughter of a Greek prostitute. But while Anna looks after all Kit Kat’s physical and intellectual needs, she ignores her mental need to be heard, understood and recognized for herself. In fact, Anna is so intent on eradicating Elektra’s past, she even renames her Kathryn and will not allow Kit Kat to speak of her past at all.
Bit by bit, Kit Kat gives up on having a closer, open and loving relationship with her adopted mother. She stays silent and eventually loses herself and memories of her past through books until she discovers Jane Eyre. Jane’s story hits her hard. She recognizes the similarity of Jane’s struggles to her own. But what she comes to understand most from Jane’s story is that when there is no-one else to rely on, you have to rely on yourself. By doing so, you become strong. Ultimately, Kit Kat finds her own strength through Jane’s story and Elektra surfaces again...feisty, self-sufficient and in control of her own life
Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that hit you so hard you could see yourself in the protagonist...a story with an impact so strong it ultimately altered your perceptions of yourself and of those involved in your upbringing? That’s what happens to Kit Kat in the young adult novel Dear Jane by Marina DelVecchio. Dear Jane is an engaging, very touching story told in an unusual way. Kit Kat finds solace by journaling. She journals through letters to Jane Eyre, pointing out the similarities and differences between them. She knows the only replies she will ever get from Jane are the insights she gets into herself but, in doing so, she becomes her own therapist. Kit Kat’s story of her past will make some readers squirm. It’s awful. But just as Kit Kat relates to Jane, the number of women worldwide today with similar stories is immeasurable. Perhaps some of them will discover Dear Jane and take back control of their lives. Well worth reading!