John Eyre by Mimi Matthews

The second she launched his hand — a hand she’d clutched like a lifeline all the way in which from the church to the room on the third flooring — their romance had ended. Their friendship, too, by the look of it.

I like me retelling and Matthews’ gender bent imagining of Jane Eyre is a splendidly enjoyable, Gothic-y  learn that takes among the anticipated, beloved moments of the basic novel and mixes in new, shocking ones.

John Eyre: A Story of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews
Completely Correct Press, 2021
Overview copy through NetGalley for weblog tour

Our eponymous hero, John Eyre, has a background similar to Brontë’s Jane, together with a useless Helen and a educating job for some mysteriously acquired wards. He arrives at Thornfield rattled by the ghosts of his previous, disturbed by the heavy mists that encompass the whole lot, and edgy from his rising laudanum use. However when he meets the mistress of Thornfield, Bertha Mason Rochester, he is mesmerised by her fierce impatience, boldness, and worldly curiosity.

Usually shoving a male-identity into one thing that was female-identified would irritate me, however I discovered Matthews dealing with of it to be attention-grabbing, particularly as she did not water down any of Bertha’s energy. John felt very a lot a form of Jane, and Bertha had the daring, brash temperament of Rochester. 

Matthews’ Bertha was the spotlight of this ebook: whereas I am a faithful fan of Bertha by the use of Extensive Sargasso Sea,
I will additionally take this iteration of her. Right here, Bertha’s life is such that
she might simply be accused of being mad; as an alternative of racism and
patriarchy being the impetus, Matthews imagines one thing extra
supernatural as scary her selections and habits.

I confess that I’ve by no means “gotten” the romance of Rochester in Jane Eyre (severely, what’s romantic about that man?!) however Matthews satisfied
me of the depth felt by Bertha and John — and much more, she
satisfied that I ought to desire a HEA for them. Each in the end wished a contented partnership with somebody, constructed on belief and respect, and it was straightforward to see how every might give that to the opposite, if they might simply determine their means round all of the utterly freaky stuff taking place at Thornfield. 

Reader, they finally do and I beloved each web page of the journey.