The Jane And Bertha In Me – Book Review

The Jane And Bertha In Me

The Jane And Bertha In Me by Rita Maria Martinez – Book Review

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month, and that this month marks the centennial of Charlotte Bronte’s birth?

If you are a fan of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel Jane Eyre and a lover of poetry, you’ll be excited to learn that Create With Joy is celebrating the occasion with the ambitious and timely debut of The Jane And Bertha In Me – the first published volume of poetry by Cuban-American poet, Rita Maria Martinez!

The Jane And Bertha In Me is a collection of wildly inventive, beautifully crafted persona poems in which Rita re-imagines Jane Eyre’s cast of characters in a variety of contemporary contexts, including a high school setting student, an Avon saleslady, and a Stepford wife!

Rita’s rich volume of poetry breathes fresh life into a beloved classic and invites us to view Charlotte Bronte’s characters in new light. Through Rita’s poems, we are reminded that the world of Jane Eyre is just as relevant to us today as it was to readers so many years ago.

Following is one of my favorite poems from this gem of a volume:

Reading Jane Eyre II

I opened a can of alphabet soup
and searched for clues in letters,
life preservers in broth.
I watched the evening news expecting
her body in a lake, her bleached
hair smeared across the water’s surface
smooth as straw. I fingered the kitchen
counter, decrypted each cookie crumb.
I checked the billiard table pockets,
behind the bathroom mirror,
between the lampshade’s pleats.
Later, I dreamt my left foot was bootless,
bruised by gravel when I read her
signature in the quiet grace of a passing cloud.

Reading good poetry is a delight for the senses. I invite you to explore the wonderful world of The Jane And Bertha In Me. It’s essential reading for anyone who loves Bronte’s work!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

About Rita Maria Martinez

Rita Maria Martinez

Rita Maria Martinez is a Cuban-American poet from Miami, Florida. Her writing has been published in journals including the Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, MiPOesias, and 2River View. She authored the chapbook Jane-in-the-Box, published by March Street Press in 2008. Her poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama, published by Prentice Hall; and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish, published by Simon & Schuster.

Rita has been a featured author at the Miami Book Fair International; at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida; and at the Palabra Pura reading series sponsored by the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Poetic Book Tours for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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2 Responses to “The Jane And Bertha In Me – Book Review”

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  1. Fascinating! Thank you for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week.


  1. […] April 27: Pretty Purple Polka Dots (review) April 28: Impressions in Ink (review) April 30: Create With Joy […]

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