Normally I don’t do previews of books on my blog, however, this post was supposed to be a review of John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews, inspired of course by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Due to illness I have been unable to get through the novel but it’s one that I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading. I adore anything Brontë-inspired and love finding new twists on classic stories so the premise of this one and the opening lines in which John Eyre stands at the grave of Lady Helen Burns had me hooked.
The novel is a gender reversed retelling of Charlotte’s text which promises Gothic thrills and surprises and a hint of the paranormal. Readers who enjoyed Rebecca,by Daphne du Maurier, The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins, Dragonwyck, by Anya Seton, Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, and Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia may well enjoy this one. Here is the official synopsis taken from the press release; read it and tell me you’re not intrigued.
“Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer—a widow as alluring as she is mysterious.
Sixteen months earlier, heiress Bertha Mason embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Marriage wasn’t on her itinerary, but on meeting the enigmatic Edward Rochester, she’s powerless to resist his preternatural charm. In letters and journal entries, she records the story of their rapidly disintegrating life together, and of her gradual realization that Mr. Rochester isn’t quite the man he appears to be. In fact, he may not be a man at all.
From a cliff-top fortress on the Black Sea coast to an isolated estate in rural England, John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?”
In Loving Memory of Bob the Bichon (2007-2019)
A lover of life, the Brontës, and Haworth who knows that I’m just going to write because I can’t help it.
By Nicola F. a.k.a. The Brontë Babe.
Thanks fior reading. I’d love it if you stopped by The Journal of Juvenilia Studies where you can read my essay, “Autobiography, Wish-Fulfilment, and Juvenilia. The ‘Fractured Self’ in Charlotte Brontë’s Paracosmic Counterworld”.
Please do not copy, share, or use the images from this post without seeking permission first.