Hello, Sunshines, I am super excited to be sharing my review of the incredible; John Eyre by Mimi Matthews. I love this book, it’s easily one of my favourites of all of Mimi Matthews’ to date and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Firstly, thank you to Mimi Matthews for the complimentary copy.
About the Book
John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s timeless classic.
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?
Purchase here – Amazon.co.uk/
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Yes, I did have to shout that as loud as I could. Though this book is amazing!!
John Eyre is one of those books which will stay in your mind for weeks – now, months after closing the last page. It’s an incredibly clever and original take on not one but two well-loved classic’s, Matthews is an astonishingly gifted author, I have loved her work since that very book but this one just blew me away. Her ability to entwine to well-loved classics and create a stunningly mesmerizing, unexpected and enthralling story is pure brilliance!!
I knew that I was going to enjoy this book the moment I read the back blurb, but the way it crept into my very being I wasn’t prepared for, as you may have guessed by the title John Eyre is a re-telling of the hugely famous classic; Jane Eyre but with a twist, as Mathews has meticulously entwined another classic within the plot – I won’t even hint at what that other classic is as even the merest hint will give far too much of the plot away. If your thinking that just because you know the Jane Eyre story that you don’t have to read this because you know the story, then you are well and truly wrong, this is like no re-telling you have read before.
The story opens when the schoolmaster; John Eyre having left his former employer after the death of his previous employer. Her unfortunate death rocked his world, there is a hint of a brief liaison between them, something which if made public could cause scandal so he leaves the security of his much-loved job to take a position of a tutor at the hauntingly beautiful, if slightly melancholic Thornfield Hall where he comes face to face with a whole host of strange and creepy things not least his two young charges, the mistress herself and the odd occurrences which go on in the house and it’s grounds – let me tell you there were times that I felt prickles running down my arms at the sheer creepy-ness of it all.
Suddenly Thornfield Hall’s mistress returns out of the blue, one stormy night where there are unexpected goings-on around the land of the hall. What is lurking on the moors around the hall? Her behaviour is both mysterious and bizarre, John is instantly enchanted by the beguiling Bertha Rochester. She is a woman with deep echoes of sadness and a multitude of secrets hidden beneath that black cape. John is not just smitten, but he has fallen hard for the lady of the manor, the air crackles around them as she tries to keep him at bay.
John is a wonderful character, as with the original Jane Eyre, he is a quietly spoken, unassuming man. John has an air of sadness about him, he submerges himself into his new work to push away the hurt and pain in which he holds deep in his heart. I liked John, he is a man who cares deeply for his two young charges, he wants to do what is right for them these two young boys are as eerily melancholic as his new employer and the house itself, there is something about these two silent unsettled little boys spooked me far more than what goes on later, but once you know the history and find out what comes next you understand why these little boys – and in fact why the house is like it is.
Believe me, you don’t want to miss that!
I love how Bertha’s back story is told in the form of her diary entries, we learn all about how she went on her travels meeting the enigmatic Edward Rochester and the horrors which take place after their marriage. Her account of what happened in those months before she returns home brings the whole tale to life, with gritty detail and constant air of unease. These parts of the book take on a life of its own and pull the reader into Bertha’s story, you feel her every emotion which she pours out into her journal from falling in love to the fear which follows.
I also have to mention the cover – by Jove, isn’t it glorious? It suits the story to perfection, it ignites and tantalises the imagination before you even open the first page.
I cannot praise this glorious book enough, it has all the makings of a classic in its own right. John Eyre is highly original, full of gothic atmosphere and unexpected love and edged with eerie darkness which will hold the reader’s attention page after page until the very last word.
I can’t recommend this gorgeously gothic masterpiece enough, if you love historical romance edged with mystery and tantalising dark nuances then this is the book you need to read.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020; Gentleman Jim, a Kirkus Best Indie Romance of 2020; and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine.
In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House. To learn more, please visit www.MimiMatthews.com