Michelle Chiles is the Archivist for the Handel and Haydn Society and the Collections Assistant for the Noam Chomsky project at MIT. She is a co-chair of REPS and an active member of the NEA Education Committee. In her free time Michelle loves being outdoors, kayaking, reading, drinking lots of tea, and being crafty.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford
Set in an alternate Great Britain circa 1985, The Eyre Affair is the first in the series featuring Thursday Next, literary detective. In a world where literature is central to everyday life, Ms. Next and her fellow literary detectives spend much of their time tracking forgeries, identifying unauthorized works, and stopping Baconian-Shakespearian debates from taking a violent turn.
While investigating the theft of a Dickens manuscript, Thursday learns that criminal mastermind and top suspect, Acheron Hades has plans to kidnap Jane Eyre directly from the pages of the novel. Hades has stolen a device allowing him to jump in to the pages of novels, wreaking havoc on the beloved plotlines and stealing characters. Thursday, however, has a few tricks up her sleeves, which readers will quickly discover.
As I finished The Eyre Affair for the first time, my first thought was, “When I grow up I want to be a literary detective and have a pet dodo!” Filled with familiar literary characters, extinct animals as pets, time travel, and a tantalizing crime to solve, The Eyre Affair is a great escape from reality while still feeling so familiar and comfortable.
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Explore other REPS Recommendations. Interested in recommending something? Contact Abby (abigail.cramer[at]gmail.com).