Dear Jane

Young Adult - Coming of Age
171 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Marina DelVecchio is an award-winning author who teaches writing, literature, and Women’s Studies as a full-time professor in North Carolina. Her debut novel, DEAR JANE, was a finalist for the 2020 International Book Awards and the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It also won first place for the 2019 Wishing Shelf Book Award and named in Kirkus' list for Best Indie Books of 2019. Her essays appear in 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. Her essay titled “God’s Beauty Marks” has been chosen as a 2015 Finalist for the Tiferet Journal: Literature, Art, and the Creative Spirit and a craft essay on writing an immersion memoir centered on literature was published in 2015 by the Tishman Review. Her second book, The Virgin Chronicles, will be published by She Writes Press in 2022.

    Book Review

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!


Thank you for the positive review of Dear Jane and for sharing the news. More reviews on this book can be found on Amazon:
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I finished up this book tonight. I could not stop reading it and took it everywhere with me today. Such an intense read! More than intense, it made me tense, anxious, sad, angry, baffled, mortified, and in the end, relieved & touched that the story of Jane Eyre saved her life. I read that this book has some autobiographical details in it, which is putting such a grip on my heart... I loved that the story was told via diary entries written to Jane. I can see how Jane Eyre's fiery spirit, strength & certainty of her morals could bolster one up! Jane Eyre left a very strong imprint on ne when I read it as a young girl - well before my teen years...
Dear Jane had me feeling "all the feels." It is a short read, bit definitely not a light read! I'm glad that the character Elektra found her voice, and I applaud her courage & victory, as she survives and thrives as an adult! I highly recommend!


I just finished Dear Jane by Marina Del Vecchio. It was an incredible read! The story premise, the storytelling, and the beautiful language had me looking forward each night to when I might be able to continue reading. I just finished and the story will stay with me for a very long time. I'm not one of those Amazon reviewers that will recap the whole story but I will say that it is about a young girl with an incredibly difficult childhood, as she grows up to a young adult and finds solace in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and addresses her diary entries to "Dear Jane." It is a rare treat to find a combination of telling a story with such despair that can gut you but take you out to a place of resilience and even joy that this young woman found her way. I was so thoroughly engaged and committed to this book and character, that I look forward to introducing her story to young adults as well as adults of all ages. I teach creative writing to high school students as well as university level and will be definitely recommending this book, for the breathtaking prose, the innovative form of storytelling and the story itself.


Writing flowed, message was inspiring. Great lessons for teens to guide their lives. Highly recommended. Would be great as a classroom read.


I loved the story. The story itself captures you till the end and still doesn't leave you! You can feel and see the world with this little girl's own eyes and heart! The last time I cried while I was reading a book was the Les Miserables when Fantine had to sell her beautiful blonde hair, beautiful white front teeth, and her body for her daughter! I hope that I can read the author's next book soon!


Dear Jane was a gripping novel about a young girl from the streets of Greece who was adopted by a woman from America. In the book we are brought face to face with some pretty disturbing and violent scenes between many of the characters. It was hard to read but my desire to know what happens next kept me going. I wanted so much to learn why Elektra's relationship with her adoptive mother was so strained. I was left a bit unsatisfied here but expected to be since the story is only being told from Elektra's point of view through a series of letters.


Painful and tender, the diary entries of fifteen-year-old Kt Kat progress to reveal more tumult than a child should ever endure. Abuses foreign to me, but the author made them relatable and I immediately championed her cause, vicariously sharing her hurt in a life of extremes. Rescued from fiery terror, she is thrust into a home with an adopted mother so icy as to make the White Witch of Narnia look warm and inviting. The sympathetic involvement was inescapable for this reader.
The premise of the book--a traumatized girl who finds salvation on the library shelves and herself adopts Jane Eyre as the recipient of her deepest secrets--proved to be a clever mechanism for conveying the effects of a past otherwise held in secret. It was those buried secrets, the unfolding like the blossoming of a tragically beautiful flower, that transfixed me from start to finish.
Every character is written with such detail and depth as to jump off the page. The same is true of the setting where the author has created a vivid visual. Readily pulled into the story, I was compelled to keep reading late into the night, in a one-more-chapter campaign. Savoring the well-worded phrases I found myself skipping back to re-read in an attempt to commit lines to memory, jotting down page numbers on a nearby saved envelope. And the thought occurred more than once, that I might be witness to a classic novel on the verge of giving birth to another classic.

Ecclectic Review

*Original review on my blog*

"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.

I highly recommend Ms. DelVecchio’s book and hope to read more!


wanted to read this novel because I love Jane Eyre, so the idea of a book about a girl who also connects with the classic seemed ideal. Whatever my expectations had been about this book before I started reading it, they were exceeded in every way. Kit Kat writes letters to Jane Eyre because she feels that Jane would understand her due to some similar circumstances. I think it is important to go into this book without knowing too many details, so I will avoid those, but it is fair to say there are trigger warnings for abuse, sexual violence, and abandonment. I think that presenting those topics in a straightforward way is something that Delvecchio does extremely well. Because we are hearing the details in letters describing her past, we hear not only the events but the consequences of those experiences. The family history, and our protagonist future are revealed along the way and truly feel like a growing friendship between her and the reader. Again, I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending pleased me because it did not attempt to wrap things up in an unrealistic way or redeem characters who did nothing to grow. I look forward to more books from this author!