The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey is Jane Eyre, updated, modernized (to the mid-twentieth century), and modified.
The story is best at the beginning where Gemma's mistreatment at the hands of her aunt and cousins is detailed. She recounts how she came to live with them at the age of three because of a promise her uncle made to her mother (his sister).
Her mother died when she was only one and her father died when Gemma was three years old. Arriving at Yew House in England (from Iceland where her father was from and where they lived), she didn't speak English and was terrified.
It was her uncle who calmed her and spent time with her teaching her English. When Gemma was ten, her uncle died and the true nature of her aunt was revealed. Banishing Gemma to the attic where the servants lived, Gemma was no longer treated like family. She was even instructed to call her aunt "ma'am" instead of "aunt" as the servants did.
To get rid of Gemma, her aunt sent her to a boarding school as a "working" girl. Ostensibly, this meant that Gemma would have to do some work while attending as a student to help pay for her tuition and board, but in reality this meant that Gemma was worked from morning to night, and attending classes was less important than keeping house and helping with the cooking for the paying students.
Read the whole review at: http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/the-flight-of-gemma-hardy-by-margot-livesey-review