Mallory Ortberg must read books like I do. I remember reading the Sweet Valley High series as a pre-teen and thinking “Jessica Wakefield is totally an evil twin”. I adored Jo March, from Little Women, but found her to be a bit emotional and flighty. Marius from Les Miserables…did he actually care about the revolution or was he more into the ladies?
Ortberg took her own observations of these famous characters and gave them a unique spin based on their quirks and foibles.
Orberg’s first book, Texts from Jane Eyre, is a funny reimagining of fictions popular characters, both classic and modern favorites as they have text conversations with other characters from the books in which they appear. Ortberg picks up on each character’s flaws and RUNS with them. From Scarlett O’Hara’s flirtatious and inappropriate texts to Ashley Wilkes to Hamlet’s petulant, whiny responses to his mother texting him in his room, Ortberg has written an enjoyable, funny book. English majors will revel in the source material Ortberg draws from but some readers, like myself, may have to do a bit of web research on some of the original stories in order to fully appreciate what Ortberg is doing.
My only complaint is the swearing…and there’s quite a bit of it. It seems completely unnecessary and distracts from Ortberg’s cleverness. Overall, Texts from Jane Eyre is funny and witty read.