An entrancing and otherworldly retelling of Jane Eyre
John Eyre is a gender-reversed retelling of Jane Eyre in which an honorable and dutiful tutor works for a widow hiding a dangerous secret.
Our thanks to the author, Austenprose, and NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy.
Title: John Eyre by Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press (July 20, 2021)
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?
From the Publisher’s Blurb
Mimi Matthews is one of my favorite authors, and it was so exciting to see her venturing into the gothic and supernatural.
John Eyre keeps all the mystery and darkness of its predecessor. With a dash of otherwordly events, it enhances the sense of helplessness and foreboding but, at the same time, keeps the reader in a safe place, secure in the knowledge of a happy outcome.
John, like Jane, was raised at an orphanage and was used to be mistreated by his ‘betters.’ After an unfortunate event, he was forced to leave his employment and became the tutor of Mrs. Rochester’s wards.
I simply loved Stephen and Peter. They were so forlorn and sick-looking, but their strength shined from within. John’s relationship with the boys was so sweet and endearing that it made me forget the haunted place and the strange noises that could be heard from the third floor.
Bertha, Mrs. Rochester, was a force to be reckoned with. I loved that the author kept the original name. This time Bertha was in charge, and the tables were definitively turned.
The story is beautifully written, the descriptions immersive and captivating, and the characters layered and relatable. A wonderful read for all Jane Eyre fans!
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the author for an honest review.
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, 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.