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If Hamlet was an angsty millennial texting his mother to bring food to his room and if Hermione Granger could text Ron Weasley about science and how credit cards work, you would get Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. A bibliophile’s dream, this slim book is a witty and educational walk through literature from the Greek myths and John Donne’s poetry to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Texts from Jane Eyre is an affectionately biting and funny take on classic literary characters. Ortberg is clearly well read, and she nails the personalities and idiosyncrasies of classic characters from Sherlock Holmes to Scarlett O’Hara. Though each section is labeled with the work that it is parodying, the texts are presented without context, which can make it tough to piece together who is talking to whom. But Ortberg’s imagined conversations are always funny, even if you aren’t familiar with the work the conversation is based on, and a quick trip to Wikipedia is usually enough to fill in the gaps. If you ever wished you could know what was really going on in Jane Eyre or Lizzie Bennet’s heads, check out Ortberg’s Texts from Jane Eyre – you won’t be disappointed!

Review by Shannon Wood
Adult Services Librarian
Nordonia Hills Branch Library