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John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow

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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 t 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?


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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 t 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?

30 review for John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mimi Matthews

    John Eyre is my dual timeline, partially epistolary, partially gender-flipped supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and one other classic novel that I can't reveal without spoiling the story. Because it's so unlike my other novels, I thought it might be a good idea to post part of my end-of-book Author's Note here in advance. I warn you, there are spoilers! --- Author's Note (view spoiler)[At this point, some of you might be wondering why on earth I wou John Eyre is my dual timeline, partially epistolary, partially gender-flipped supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and one other classic novel that I can't reveal without spoiling the story. Because it's so unlike my other novels, I thought it might be a good idea to post part of my end-of-book Author's Note here in advance. I warn you, there are spoilers! --- Author's Note (view spoiler)[At this point, some of you might be wondering why on earth I would ever combine Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a retelling. I had many reasons for doing so (which I’ll elaborate below), but the simplest is this: in the text of Jane Eyre, there are several references to monsters, bloodsucking, and even vampires. They include the following: 1) After Bertha attacks and bites her brother, Richard Mason, Mason tells Mr. Rochester: “She sucked the blood: she said she’d drain my heart.” 2) Jane tells Mr. Rochester that the gruesome-looking figure who crept into her room one night reminded her “Of the foul German spectre— the Vampyre.” 3) During another conversation, Mr. Rochester relates the difficulties involved with getting Bertha home to Thornfield, stating: “To England, then, I conveyed her; a fearful voyage I had with such a monster in the vessel.” From those lines (which I included in John Eyre) and others, it was easy for me to imagine that the creature locked away on the third floor was, in fact, a monster. Similarly, my decision to make Mr. Rochester the villain, was based on actual scenes from Jane Eyre, as well as on my evolving view of the character himself. When I was younger, I used to think Jane Eyre was a deeply romantic novel, and Mr. Rochester an equally romantic hero. However, on subsequent readings (and with my own advancing years), I began to notice all the ways that Mr. Rochester exploits Jane’s innocence and takes advantage of his position of power. He also speaks disparagingly of every other woman he’s been with, employing the age-old tactic of implying that Jane is “different” from them, and therefore, worthier of better treatment. Where does Dracula fit into all of this? There were already vampire connections between Jane Eyre and Dracula to play with, but I also really liked the idea of Bertha facing a situation somewhat similar to that faced by Jonathan Harker. Except, unlike Harker’s mentally and physically debilitating experience as prisoner to the Count, Bertha’s imprisonment ultimately serves to reveal the full, magnificent extent of what she’s capable of as a woman. And that’s the final element of inspiration for John Eyre: strong women. Though John is, in many ways, the main character, it’s Bertha who holds power as the story’s true heroine. I began writing John Eyre during the height of the #MeToo movement. Several predatory men were being dragged, vampire-like, from the shadows and made to face the sunlight. The women who accused them were rarely in positions of power. They’d previously been doubted, demeaned, or dismissed. Others had kept silent for years for fear of the same. It made me think a lot about allyship and the importance of women having friends and partners who listen to and believe them. In many ways, that’s the role John serves for Bertha—not her savior, but her ally. John Eyre is my first effort at a retelling/reimagining/fanfic of a classic novel. When writing it, I wanted to keep the basic framework of Jane Eyre to provide a feeling of familiarity that would (hopefully) make the supernatural gothic bits seem scarier as they blended into classic elements of the story. To that end, you can be sure that if I used a description or piece of dialogue from Jane Eyre I did so with specific intention. I understand that some of you might prefer that authors not tamper with the classics. But here’s something I’ve learned as a reader: none of the stories in the huge canon of retellings and fanfic take away from the originals. Quite the opposite. In most instances, the retellings are borne of a deep and abiding love for the source material. That’s certainly true in my case. I love Jane Eyre and I adore Dracula. Spending time immersed in their worlds was enormous fun. And during this sad, grim, awful pandemic year of grief, fear, and loss, I needed something fun to take me out of myself. If you found the end result a bit bonkers, you can blame it on that, and know that regular programming will resume with my next novel. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    I read a super early unpublished copy of this and I can tell you it is one of the most moving, suspenseful, innovative and remarkable retellings of a classic in the history of, well, ever. If you are a Mimi Matthews fan, be prepared to stretch your conceptions of her literary prowess. Here, she surprises us, challenges us and proves (yet again) that she can lend her talented pen to anything. The elasticity of her gifted and natural ability wields itself into gothic, gender-swapped terrain and ev I read a super early unpublished copy of this and I can tell you it is one of the most moving, suspenseful, innovative and remarkable retellings of a classic in the history of, well, ever. If you are a Mimi Matthews fan, be prepared to stretch your conceptions of her literary prowess. Here, she surprises us, challenges us and proves (yet again) that she can lend her talented pen to anything. The elasticity of her gifted and natural ability wields itself into gothic, gender-swapped terrain and every page is sheer rapture as she moulds popular source material into a spell-binding creation so wholly her own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    Ooh, such good creepy gothic atmosphere, nice slow build told in two timelines. It opens with John Eyre on his way to his new job as a tutor at Thornfield. The alternative timeline is a couple of years earlier and is mostly letters from Bertha to her friend, Blanche Ingram and later entries in her diary. I’m glad I didn’t read other reviews before reading this as it would definitely spoil the experience. A wonderful retelling!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Blackjack

    This is a difficult book to review for a couple of reasons, not least is that it relies on plot surprises best left to the reading experience. I did enjoy the supernatural atmosphere of the story, and for the most part, dueling time lines worked well here too. What didn't work for me may not be an issue for other readers. The book is a retelling of two classic British Victorian novels, and when I say "retelling," I do mean almost verbatim retelling rather than interpretation. The fact that the c This is a difficult book to review for a couple of reasons, not least is that it relies on plot surprises best left to the reading experience. I did enjoy the supernatural atmosphere of the story, and for the most part, dueling time lines worked well here too. What didn't work for me may not be an issue for other readers. The book is a retelling of two classic British Victorian novels, and when I say "retelling," I do mean almost verbatim retelling rather than interpretation. The fact that the cast of characters are gender swapped is not nearly as interesting or original as I had hoped and may actually have been a significant impediment to my enjoyment. I know the literary fiction too well and scenes that I've read many times are simply restated here with casts of characters having a gender change. To say it felt redundant is understating the surprising frustration I felt as I tried unsuccessfully to block out the original books. I liken this experience to having once seen a live performance of Coreolanus right after the Iraq War began. It was set in the desert with all the actors wearing combat fatigues. But simply dressing up Renaissance characters in modern dress didn't add as much to the play as one would think. Ultimately, I couldn't get out of my own head while reading Matthews's new book because I kept mentally placing each scene in Jane Eyre alongside the same scene in John Eyre, except Jane is now John, etc. It kind of went that way for the whole book and proved to be a challenging and even somewhat unhappy read for me. My advice is to avoid the origin texts and go into this fresh if at all possible because then I do think the book could be quite entertaining.

  5. 4 out of 5

    OLT

    Reasonably priced and very competently written by one of my favorite historical romance authors, this gender-flipped Jane Eyre should have appealed to me more than it did. Matthews does a good job of integrating two well-known Victorian classics into one gothic romance/horror story, but, unfortunately, I found the romance bland and uninspired, probably because her character John Eyre is even less interesting than Bronte's original Jane Eyre was. Let's face it. My view of this book starts out from Reasonably priced and very competently written by one of my favorite historical romance authors, this gender-flipped Jane Eyre should have appealed to me more than it did. Matthews does a good job of integrating two well-known Victorian classics into one gothic romance/horror story, but, unfortunately, I found the romance bland and uninspired, probably because her character John Eyre is even less interesting than Bronte's original Jane Eyre was. Let's face it. My view of this book starts out from a personal bias about one of the original classics. The heroine of Bronte's JANE EYRE, along with Jane Austen's heroine Fanny of MANSFIELD PARK, have long been two of my least favorite female protagonists. Insipid and mostly spineless (perhaps Jane a bit less so than Fanny) and boring to boot, IMO. But that's just me, probably. However, when you take colorless Jane and just turn her into an even more colorless John, it doesn't bode well for my enjoyment. So the Jane Eyre portion of this book did not thrill me. Mrs. Rochester even turned out to be just as self-centered and aloof as Bronte's Mr. Rochester. What can I say? If you're going to write a take on a classic, maybe improve on it a bit, rather than just doing a gender flip. The saving grace of this book, for me, was our attic-bound Mr. Rochester. His back story, based on another Victorian classic, was more interesting and was integrated nicely into the Bronte classic. If Matthews could have done as good a job of playing around with the gender-flipped Jane Eyre part, I would have given this four stars. As it is, I found the character John Eyre to be too beta and too lacking in personality to be interesting or compelling. The romance between him and Mrs. Rochester was not convincing and it lacked any spark or passion. (Not talking about sex. Matthews doesn't do sex scenes. I'm talking about getting that romantic attraction and the feelings down on paper in their interactions. They weren't there.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    Warning: Once you start this Jane Eyre remix, you won't want to stop. Oh my goodness, I loved this so much. Dripping with moody atmosphere, John Eyre pulls the reader along with just the right amount of tension until the very end. The novel is named for John, but Bertha is the real star of the story, and watching her grow and develop is a fascinating delight. With John Eyre, Mimi Matthews proves she has an impressive range. She delivered a solid gothic retelling just as expertly as she has penne Warning: Once you start this Jane Eyre remix, you won't want to stop. Oh my goodness, I loved this so much. Dripping with moody atmosphere, John Eyre pulls the reader along with just the right amount of tension until the very end. The novel is named for John, but Bertha is the real star of the story, and watching her grow and develop is a fascinating delight. With John Eyre, Mimi Matthews proves she has an impressive range. She delivered a solid gothic retelling just as expertly as she has penned Victorian and Regency romances. Well done, Mimi! Encore!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    Mimi Mathews latest John Eyre is an absolutely fascinating and absorbing read. Combining two famous classical works into an evocative tale of menace and evil with an additional feature of woman empowerment was enough to send me to raptures. The title of course gives away the 1st classic. A Jane Eyre retelling with changes in the gender of the main characters, John Eyre brings forth that same brooding atmosphere in the original that made it one of the most renowned published works for gothic roman Mimi Mathews latest John Eyre is an absolutely fascinating and absorbing read. Combining two famous classical works into an evocative tale of menace and evil with an additional feature of woman empowerment was enough to send me to raptures. The title of course gives away the 1st classic. A Jane Eyre retelling with changes in the gender of the main characters, John Eyre brings forth that same brooding atmosphere in the original that made it one of the most renowned published works for gothic romance. Thornfield Hall has never felt more frightening, the author’s mastery with words providing a dark and bleak environment with the ever-present mists surrounding the village adding a layer of an enigma. The story which progresses thru John, who is appointed as a tutor to the wards of Mrs. Rochester is at times mellowed and subtle. We are so conditioned to reading about guys so superior that John’s character always at a subservient position made it tough for me to connect with him. He is by no means a weak character, but Bertha Rochester somehow towers over him in her forceful personality and her mere intimidating presence. I loved how Ms. Mathews has used Bertha’s letters and journals to show the change of her character from a naïve rosy-hued debutante ready to conquer the world to slowly seeing the depravity hidden behind masks and without any qualms rising above her fear and growing in strength to do what is necessary for her survival. When we encounter Bertha thru John’s eyes, she has become so hard and cynical that we lose sight of the vulnerability and loneliness that is hidden behind her brusque manner. It is not just Thornfield Hall but Mimi Mathews creates Nosht-Vulk in Senniskali village in Bulgaria as even more terrifying and Bertha’s experiences send a chill down the reader’s spine as she realizes the dreadful pit that she is trapped in! The secondary characters are all delightful especially the butler Mr. Fairfax and the children. The author in her notes refers to the raging debate of recreating a classic but I have always loved reading them in however recreated versions they have been published, and both books in John Eyre are favorites of all those who love gothic romance and horror so this surely appealed to me. 5 alluring stars! Many thanks to Net Galley, Perfectly Proper Press, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily. This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India, Medium.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    5 STARS “Do you think any of this has been easy? That I’ve been blessed with a surfeit of choices—for the boys, or for myself? By God, sir, you don’t know what it is to navigate such a treacherous sea as I have done.” She looked at Thornfield, casting such a glare over the place as John had never seen. “My instincts have served me well thus far. Had I not heeded them, I wouldn’t be standing as I am now.” Ok... just... wow! I loved this! Gothic/Horror, Classic Literature/Historical Romance, Mys 5 STARS “Do you think any of this has been easy? That I’ve been blessed with a surfeit of choices—for the boys, or for myself? By God, sir, you don’t know what it is to navigate such a treacherous sea as I have done.” She looked at Thornfield, casting such a glare over the place as John had never seen. “My instincts have served me well thus far. Had I not heeded them, I wouldn’t be standing as I am now.” Ok... just... wow! I loved this! Gothic/Horror, Classic Literature/Historical Romance, Mystery/Thriller, this one had it all. Now it doesn't hurt that I was already in love with MM writing skills, or that Jane Eyre happens to be one of my favorite classics, but I almost feel like these preexisting suppositions only raise the bar on my expectations for the book. It may also be that I was not expecting this level of preternatural drama. But honestly, I thought she hit it out of the park with this one. Now, if you know the story of Jane Eyre, you're going to know where this story is heading. But the journey was so compelling that it didn't matter. In fact... you are anticipating the end... pulling it toward you the whole time just to calm your own nerves about what poor Bertha was going through. And then there were the names... all names somehow taken from the original novel and worked into the story. The marriage of the two was so cleverly done. Brilliant. I hope she writes more books like this. I was already waiting for her new releases, and now, I'll be anticipating them even that much more. MM has yet to disappoint me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Reader, I went into this book blind. No blurb, no captions, and a mere glance at the cover. This is because I spotted the title and the author and it was all over. I needed a gender swapped Jane Eyre-Dracula mash up to quench my insatiable curiosity and wonder over such a combo. Some authors might have difficulty pulling off such a feat, but I didn’t have a doubt in the world that John Eyre would dazzle. John Eyre arrives at his new place of employment on a cold, rainy, and foggy night. He barely Reader, I went into this book blind. No blurb, no captions, and a mere glance at the cover. This is because I spotted the title and the author and it was all over. I needed a gender swapped Jane Eyre-Dracula mash up to quench my insatiable curiosity and wonder over such a combo. Some authors might have difficulty pulling off such a feat, but I didn’t have a doubt in the world that John Eyre would dazzle. John Eyre arrives at his new place of employment on a cold, rainy, and foggy night. He barely catches a glimpse of the new Yorkshire countryside or Thornfield Hall. His mind is weighed down by the past and his head aches dreadfully. He craves the laudanum that has been his memories and pain. But, it is not long before natural curiosity for his odd little mute charges, his absent employer, and his new surroundings rouse him. Thornfield Hall might be remote, creak with odd noises and the Yorkshire environs bleak, but John Eyre starts to settle in and feel a modicum of peace. Then Mrs. Rochester arrives. Mrs. Rochester is changeable and direct, capable and very much in charge, but he senses there is great mystery from this well-traveled world-weary woman, too. She challenges him and his notions of women and the world he has barely experienced in his humble circumstances, but his very stolidity and sureness appear to be a challenge to her as well and they slowly become friends. That is until a man of her status and well-known is there so why should she want John? Nonetheless, he stands pat when events transpire that Mrs. Rochester requires his unquestionable and discreet trust. And, he gives it, but in the end, his love and trust are challenged and he is faced with the irrational and incredible. Jane Eyre is a tale that could be described as gothic though mild, but John Eyre pulls out all the stops and plunges wholly into the realm of gothic lit. From the atmospheric descriptions, the raised hair thrilling moments, and the very present Dracula scenes and characters. Though be at ease those who don’t do horror. This one stays in the mild to moderate range depending on your sensibilities and balances more toward the Jane Eyre story than Dracula. The book is actually divided into two time threads- the present with John doing the narration and the past in epistolary form from Bertha’s perspective. Yes, Bertha Mason Rochester is the heroine in the role of the original Mr. Rochester to complete the gender swap. The surrounding characters are also part of the swap and some scenes and situations from both original classics are left out or combined to make the story work better. That said, each of the two classics are clearly and beautifully represented in the story. John had most of the lime light, but I felt Bertha was the central figure much of the time. John is retiring in personality in many ways though he has a backbone and a mind so that he stands up to, but just as often supports Bertha Rochester. This is good because she has been through a lot and just needs someone on her side- to believe her in the end. Bertha is intelligent, independent, and dominant in a time when that was not attractive in a woman, but she is also adventurous and is willing to buck society and go it alone. John Eyre is the first person to quietly accept her for her true self and back her up when all reason tells him that he should run. Their scenes particularly near the end were electrifying together. All in all, this was captivating. I didn’t want to put the book down and stayed up late to finish. I was sorely tempted to click back to the beginning go it again right away. Those who enjoy classic retellings, gothic lit, and the fun of gender swaps should add this to their reading list. I rec'd an eARC of the book through Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Griep

    It’s no secret that Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite book, so naturally when I saw a twist on the retelling, I jumped at the chance to read it. In Mimi Matthew’s John Eyre, pretty much everything Bronte laid out is turned on its head. There is no plain governess but a nondescript tutor instead. Mrs. Rochester rules the house with Mr. Fairfax carrying out her bidding. Then there is the addition of two young boys who appear to be more dead than alive. And, as expected, there is something (or someo It’s no secret that Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite book, so naturally when I saw a twist on the retelling, I jumped at the chance to read it. In Mimi Matthew’s John Eyre, pretty much everything Bronte laid out is turned on its head. There is no plain governess but a nondescript tutor instead. Mrs. Rochester rules the house with Mr. Fairfax carrying out her bidding. Then there is the addition of two young boys who appear to be more dead than alive. And, as expected, there is something (or someone) in the attic with Mr. Poole. Who is it? Or more like what is it? Aha! You’ll have to read this clever tale to find out. Great read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    So clever! Combining two literary classics and flipping the genders was just so brilliant. I particularly enjoyed the atmospheric creepiness and the author's reverence to the Gothic romance genre. Matthews proves that she can craft an intriguing and enchanting tale in any genre. I recommend this to the readers of her historical romances and those new to her who love well-written, supernatural fiction. So clever! Combining two literary classics and flipping the genders was just so brilliant. I particularly enjoyed the atmospheric creepiness and the author's reverence to the Gothic romance genre. Matthews proves that she can craft an intriguing and enchanting tale in any genre. I recommend this to the readers of her historical romances and those new to her who love well-written, supernatural fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Gothic reimagining! Impressive Gothic novel combining aspects of Bram Stocker’s Dracula and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, with an arresting twist. Mimi Matthews has nailed it. 1843, John Eyre, a tutor has lost his job and his traditional belief in God, through the unchristian attitudes of the community he’s lived in. He takes up the role of tutor to a pair of boys, wards to the mysterious and alluring Mrs Rochester (when she finally arrives). Things just don’t feel right. The boys are unusual, th Gothic reimagining! Impressive Gothic novel combining aspects of Bram Stocker’s Dracula and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, with an arresting twist. Mimi Matthews has nailed it. 1843, John Eyre, a tutor has lost his job and his traditional belief in God, through the unchristian attitudes of the community he’s lived in. He takes up the role of tutor to a pair of boys, wards to the mysterious and alluring Mrs Rochester (when she finally arrives). Things just don’t feel right. The boys are unusual, they appear to be mute, some might even say haunted—in what ways remains to be seen. Strange happening surround Thornfield Hall near Millport, off from the Yorkshire Coast. Things definitely go bump in the night. Evil is abroad, although recognising that is muted. I was riveted, caught up the drama. There are signs of unrest on the way to the Hall. Too many coincidencal happenings not to be alarmed. John might not have been giving them much credence but I was! It took me a while to understand what was going on. The various letters between two female friends were a puzzle, until I sorted the order out. All paving the way for what was to come! Nicely crafted, Matthews has rendered a wonderful read! I particularly enjoyed her notes at the end talking about the novels on which she based this story. Fascinating! A Victory Editing ARC via NetGalley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    That was a Gothic Romance:} I love Jane Eyre, like Love. Was I a little worried one of my favorite authors was going to retell this story, not even a little. I knew it would be good. It really was. I enjoyed every second of this book. The dark mystery, the unknown and known of this story being retold, yet remade. John was awesome and Bertha was a Rockstar. So loved how this all came together. So many elements that just made this work so well. Mimi is a great story teller and she is good at makin That was a Gothic Romance:} I love Jane Eyre, like Love. Was I a little worried one of my favorite authors was going to retell this story, not even a little. I knew it would be good. It really was. I enjoyed every second of this book. The dark mystery, the unknown and known of this story being retold, yet remade. John was awesome and Bertha was a Rockstar. So loved how this all came together. So many elements that just made this work so well. Mimi is a great story teller and she is good at making you care about the characters! This has some frightening scenes, I would say for older teens and adults.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Syrie James

    When I heard that John Eyre was a gender-swapping version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre mashed up with elements from Bram Stoker’s Dracula—two of my favorite Gothic novels of all time—I was intrigued. I’m such a huge fan of these books that I’ve written novels inspired by both of them. I was eager to see if author Mimi Matthews could surprise or entrance me. John Eyre, a schoolmaster in his late 20s, takes a post at remote Thornfield Hall as a tutor for two young boys—the wards of the widowed M When I heard that John Eyre was a gender-swapping version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre mashed up with elements from Bram Stoker’s Dracula—two of my favorite Gothic novels of all time—I was intrigued. I’m such a huge fan of these books that I’ve written novels inspired by both of them. I was eager to see if author Mimi Matthews could surprise or entrance me. John Eyre, a schoolmaster in his late 20s, takes a post at remote Thornfield Hall as a tutor for two young boys—the wards of the widowed Mrs. Rochester. At this early point, the story adheres closely to Jane Eyre, albeit with gender-reversal: as John settles into his new role at the mansion, he feels a vague sense of unease, and hears chilling, inhuman laughter emanating from the supposedly unoccupied third floor. He meets Mrs. Rochester on the road, startling her horse and causing the infamous accident. Mr. Fairfax the butler runs the house, and Mr. Poole is blamed for strange things that go bump in the night. There are plenty of curious new things going on, however, including a sinister silver mist that won’t go away, and the odd appearance and behavior of his pupils (they are mute and deathly pale). The minute Mrs. Rochester shows up, things change even more. Bertha is a true force of nature, strong and smart and unlike any woman John has ever met. The dark secrets she’s hiding are revealed to John and the reader one tiny piece at a time, and suspense builds as Bertha and John become friends and fight their attraction to each other. The events at Thornfield Hall alternate with an earlier timeline relating Bertha’s travel adventures in Egypt and the Continent, where she falls under the spell of an enigmatic and charming man, Edward Rochester. Told through Bertha’s letters to a friend and journal entries, these chapters are a compelling, effective homage to the epistolary style of Dracula. After Bertha marries Mr. Rochester and accompanies him to his castle in Eastern Europe, the situation deteriorates and becomes increasingly spooky. She soon realizes that the man she has married may not be a man at all—and that her very life is in danger. How does Bertha extricate herself from this deadly situation? Who are the mysterious boys that John Eyre has been hired to tutor? Why is Mrs. Rochester relieved when she learns that John uses laudanum to treat his migraines? When and how will John learn the truth about what’s going on at Thornfield Hall? Matthews’s writing style is flawless throughout and captures the essence of 19th century Gothic prose. It was great fun to experience the gender-swapping elements in this re-telling of Brontë’s well-known tale, but author Mimi Matthews did so much more, giving new depth and interest to the “monster in the attic.” From the first page I was on the edge of my seat, caught up in the characters and the story, dying to see what new elements the author would dream up and how she would resolve everything. One of the things I loved most was Matthews’s depiction of Bertha Rochester. Unlike Jonathan Harker in Stoker’s Dracula (who responded to his experiences at Castle Dracula by going stark raving mad), Bertha just gets mad, as in angry, and goes through hell to fight back. I was thrilled by Bertha’s cleverness and courage and impressed by the resolve, resilience, and compassion of our hero, John Eyre. The author wisely chose to focus only on the most salient story elements from Jane Eyre and Dracula that were necessary to the re-telling of her story, and she wraps things up in a very satisfactory fashion. My only small complaint is that, even within the novel’s perfectly proper confines, I would have liked to feel a bit more passion and heat between John and Bertha, but this is a minor quibble. I was completely enthralled by this novel. It will be especially appreciated by readers familiar with the classics which inspired it, but will be enjoyed by the uninitiated as well; it might intrigue them to read the originals. With John Eyre author Mimi Matthews delivers a thrilling, spooky ride filled with heart-stopping suspense—I couldn’t put it down! Highly recommended! 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a review copy of this novel. I posted this review on my blog at: https://syriejames.com

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Mimi Matthews books are my happy place and this was just that. This gothic-like retelling of Jane Eyre was such a delight and creatively written. It was so good. It held a supernatural element that felt spooky. I enjoyed the strong, fearless heroine and the honorable hero. MM writes the best historical romances. She always delivers a wonderful tale of life, romance and HEA. Even though I know the classic story well I eagerly threw myself into this because I couldn’t wait to see how John and Bert Mimi Matthews books are my happy place and this was just that. This gothic-like retelling of Jane Eyre was such a delight and creatively written. It was so good. It held a supernatural element that felt spooky. I enjoyed the strong, fearless heroine and the honorable hero. MM writes the best historical romances. She always delivers a wonderful tale of life, romance and HEA. Even though I know the classic story well I eagerly threw myself into this because I couldn’t wait to see how John and Bertha would get through this. I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Perfectly Proper Press via Netgalley.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    Readers will delight with John Eyre‘s gothic Victorian drama, gender-swapped roles tangled with romance, and prominent thread of light. It vacillates between mystery and riveting thriller while the tentative connection forming between Mr. Eyre and Mrs. Rochester solidifies into a formidable and complimentary partnership. The brilliant telling of this tale is further proof of Matthews’ mind for story: dissecting and letting classics influence the characters and framework yet telling a unique stor Readers will delight with John Eyre‘s gothic Victorian drama, gender-swapped roles tangled with romance, and prominent thread of light. It vacillates between mystery and riveting thriller while the tentative connection forming between Mr. Eyre and Mrs. Rochester solidifies into a formidable and complimentary partnership. The brilliant telling of this tale is further proof of Matthews’ mind for story: dissecting and letting classics influence the characters and framework yet telling a unique story all its own. The epistolary elements of Bertha Rochester’s journal interspersed with the “present” story are a smart choice that lends her personal perspective and greater emotion to the story. John Eyre is a compassionate character, too, whose own backstory prepares him to be the ally Bertha needs. Their romance is as tumultuous as Brontë’s couple with a few twists on the classic that make me root for their happiness even more. Bertha is a strong heroine, and this story is more her own than John’s even as the title bears his name. The supernatural and gothic influences of this retelling are vastly different from Matthews’ previous books — and bravely so. The tone of this novel is more foreboding and chilling at times, but these affects only heighten the drama and stakes for the characters of John and Bertha as they grapple with the threat of evil and the hope of light. In particular, I am impressed with the way Brontë’s Rochester’s more mercurial nature is exposed in this telling through both Mr. Rochester and Bertha — Mr. Rochester’s with more sinister tones and Bertha’s through her passionate determination. This novel will have appeal to new readers who appreciate its source books and, hopefully, draw readers to look into Matthews’ backlist of romances. I had the privilege of reading this novel in one of its early drafts as a beta reader. I happily reread the final version, and was riveted all over again (and ecstatic about the epilogue!). Many thanks to Mimi for the shoutout in the acknowledgements! It made me smile! Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    '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 o '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?' _____________________________ 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars. John Eyre by Mimi Matthews is a gender-flipped, supernatural gothic retelling of two classic novels. This one is a bit tough to review without giving some important plot points away, so I will be intentionally vague, but as is clear from the title, one of the two books that this story draws from is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I love essentially all books with a supernatural element to them and Mimi Matthews is one of my favorite authors, so I knew going in that I would enjoy the book. But as this is so different from her others, I was curious to see how she would twist these classic novels to blend them together and put her own spin on them. The creepy vibes were great and my favorite element of the story. What prevented me from giving this book a higher rating was how closely it followed the storyline of one of the books it was based on. It followed very closely and so it hindered the suspense aspect of the plot. I felt that I knew what was coming. As retellings go, it was very well written and enjoyable though, I just wish there had been a greater element of surprise so that it could feed the   feeling of suspense, rather than detract from it. John Eyre is very different from Matthews' previous books and was a fun blend of two classics. I would love to see more gothic style romances by her in the future. _____ I would like to thank Perfectly Proper Press and NetGalley for sharing an eARC of John Eyre with me. This is my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenn (The Book Refuge)

    *Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARc of this novel.* This was a pretty direct gender-swapping of Jane Eyre to John Eyre. It also had some elements of another classic novel twisted throughout, which I will keep to myself, so it can be a surprise for you. It was an intruiging story and I maybe would have been more into it if not for 2 reasons. 1. This was even less of a romance than the original Jane Eyre. I barely felt a connection between Bertha and John. So I'm not sure why this *Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARc of this novel.* This was a pretty direct gender-swapping of Jane Eyre to John Eyre. It also had some elements of another classic novel twisted throughout, which I will keep to myself, so it can be a surprise for you. It was an intruiging story and I maybe would have been more into it if not for 2 reasons. 1. This was even less of a romance than the original Jane Eyre. I barely felt a connection between Bertha and John. So I'm not sure why this was shelved as a romance on netgalley. I kept waiting around for the sparks and I didn't feel them. 2. Based on the authors note on the end, I know the answer to this one, but there were SO MANY letters and journal entries. Now that I know which other Classic this is drawing from, I understand that, because that also happens in that book, but it made it hard to connect with John, when we were spending half of the book in Bertha's letters. I would have preferred if it was just from her POV then. All in all, my dislikes come down to preference for this one. If you don't need a romance to be the main focus of your read, but you like to see a classic redone as a gender-swapped version... you may like this a lot. I did like that some of the parts that were omitted from the original were the boring bits but this book still managed to drag and then there was not enough of a payoff for me, because it was so like the original that I knew how it was all going to lay out as soon as the twist is revealed. This just didn't vibe for me but I can appreciate the attempt.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ronie

    Quite simply ... fabulous.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    When I found out that Mimi Matthews was writing a gender-swapped retelling of Jane Eyre, I couldn’t resist getting my hands on a copy. Good I did because this turned out to be excellent. As expected by the title, ‘Jane' is now John, a likeable character, but the hero of the story is in reality Bertha, an amazing Bertha that overshadows everything and everyone with her vitality, intelligence and fortitude. It felt like a vindication :O) Rochester is present but takes on a different mantle too (or When I found out that Mimi Matthews was writing a gender-swapped retelling of Jane Eyre, I couldn’t resist getting my hands on a copy. Good I did because this turned out to be excellent. As expected by the title, ‘Jane' is now John, a likeable character, but the hero of the story is in reality Bertha, an amazing Bertha that overshadows everything and everyone with her vitality, intelligence and fortitude. It felt like a vindication :O) Rochester is present but takes on a different mantle too (or does he - I wonder if Matthews feels like a lot of us about him). The author also adds elements of another 19th century classic, using Bronte’s text as clever entry points. It works ever so well, not overpowering the story in any way, but instead enriching it (in my opinion). The resulting atmosphere is deliciously gothic, eerie and mysterious. In all, I loved it, and am ever so tempted to re-read both Victorian novels :O)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    As the title suggests, “John Eyre” is an homage to “Jane Eyre,” a novel that created a sensation as soon as it came out in 1847 and has kept readers enthralled ever since, with its mystery and danger, its hints of the supernatural, its romance and coming-of-age elements. It is a story narrated by a woman, in an age where women were not seen as fully human, and I think most of all it is that voice of the first-person narrator – at times outraged, passionate, snarky, wry, defensive, confessional – As the title suggests, “John Eyre” is an homage to “Jane Eyre,” a novel that created a sensation as soon as it came out in 1847 and has kept readers enthralled ever since, with its mystery and danger, its hints of the supernatural, its romance and coming-of-age elements. It is a story narrated by a woman, in an age where women were not seen as fully human, and I think most of all it is that voice of the first-person narrator – at times outraged, passionate, snarky, wry, defensive, confessional – that elevates it from an entertaining story to something extraordinary. Such a book is not easily forgotten, and we see that afterlife in novels it has inspired. Probably most famous is “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys, which imagined how the first Mrs. Rochester might have seen things. There’s Daphne du Maurier’s spooky retelling, “Rebecca”; Sarah Shoemaker’s “Mr. Rochester,” offering us Edward’s version of events. “Re Jane” by Patricia Park imagines Jane as a modern orphan, half-Korean, whose journey of self-discovery starts in Flushing, Queens. But no author I’ve yet encountered had asked the deceptively simple question Mimi Matthews poses here in her latest novel: What if Jane were a dude? Moreover, what if nearly everyone’s gender were flipped? In “John Eyre,” Mrs. Fairfax, the old housekeeper, has become Mr. Fairfax, the old butler. The strangely well-paid Mr. Poole fixes furniture when he’s not off somewhere in the upper reaches of the house laughing his sinister laugh. Mrs. Rochester, a mercurial yet mysteriously alluring widow, is John Eyre’s employer in his role as tutor to two little boys from parts unknown. And the dangerous lunatic imprisoned in the attic? Why, that would be Mr. Rochester. It’s a fun thought experiment, and you feel that Matthews had fun writing it. She also – playfully, I think — takes names from the original novel and repurposes them. Helen Burns is the married lady whose love John Eyre cannot return, prompting her suicide before the action of the book opens. (Unlike in the original, we do not see his childhood.) Mrs. Rochester’s maiden name was Mason; first name, Bertha. Blanche Ingram, while still a member of the local gentry, is no longer a beautiful mean girl, but Bertha’s BFF. Reading “John Eyre” has made me think about how central gender dynamics are to the plot of the original. It is hard to set a story in 19th-century England and make any man (any moderately educated white man, at least), however poor and orphaned, as powerless as Jane was. Even though John struggles with a laudanum problem and deep guilt over the Helen Burns thing, he’s still a man, with those fundamental advantages of manhood in the 19th century. This presents even a writer who’s just trying to have fun with a major problem. How does she solve it? Reader, I’ll tell you, but spoilers lie ahead. “John Eyre” does not try to recreate the narrative voice of Jane Eyre in the male lead. His sections are in close third person, written in short, choppy sentences that I think are meant to show his distance from his own feelings. But we have not lost the first-person view entirely. Entire stretches of the book are told from the perspective of Mrs. Rochester – narrating not the current action, but events of a few years earlier, poured out in letters to her dear friend back home, Blanche, as Bertha has a series of increasingly alarming experiences while living abroad. So despite the title, this is as much Mrs. Rochester’s book as John Eyre’s. While he gets the obscure-orphan part of the source material, she gets the intimate first-personal confessional and the struggle to be an autonomous woman in a world set up for the convenience and pleasure of men. But that’s not the only misdirection: The second thought experiment of “John Eyre” owes nothing to Charlotte Bronte and everything to Bram Stroker. Perhaps how you feel about vampires, or at least the literature of vampires, will determine your reaction to this important aspect of “John Eyre.” What does it do to the thought experiment already underway? “Jane Eyre,” for all its Gothic elements, is ultimately rooted in both rationality and faith. Ghosts, gytrash and other spooky things are not real, even if Jane and Rochester do communicate telepathically at one point. Jane fulminates against religious hypocrisies, yet her own conduct reflects her Christian morality. Not simply in the obvious way that she refuses to become Rochester’s mistress, but also in the radical notion that each person is of equal worth and value before God. In the world of “Dracula,” spooky things are very much real, and can even kill you. A holy object, like a cross, might rout a vampire, who is essentially a satanic being,a sort of Antichrist , but this has more to with magic and superstition than with faith. And John Eyre, in a sharp contrast to Jane, has no religious convictions — the trauma of Helen Burns’s death has ended such illusions for him. Thus we start with one kind of story and find ourselves in another, in this playful yet gripping homage to both. I enjoyed how smoothly this work unfurled once underway, its creepy atmospherics, and how the unlikely pairing of elements harmonized together.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'John felt as old as creation. Weary in body and soul.' When I read a Mimi Matthews book, I am simply carried away by her words that just flow across the page so smoothly, gliding effortlessly along and completely captivated me until the book is finished. This book, John Eyre, is quite different from her usual Victorian fare. Oh, it's Victorian, but it's dark and broodingly Gothic. Creepily good, I might add. Here, we have a twist of the Bronte story of Jane Eyre . A very good twist, might I add, 'John felt as old as creation. Weary in body and soul.' When I read a Mimi Matthews book, I am simply carried away by her words that just flow across the page so smoothly, gliding effortlessly along and completely captivated me until the book is finished. This book, John Eyre, is quite different from her usual Victorian fare. Oh, it's Victorian, but it's dark and broodingly Gothic. Creepily good, I might add. Here, we have a twist of the Bronte story of Jane Eyre . A very good twist, might I add, too. John Eyre arrives at Thornfield as a tutor to Mrs. Rochester's two young wards. He immediately notices something quite strange about these boys. Soon after, he meets Mrs. Rochester and following an even stranger conversation with her, he is very mystified. Nothing is as it seems about this entire odd place. I found Bertha's journal entries to be totally compelling. 'Suddenly, he felt quite tempted to laugh-or possibly, to weep. Was it madness, what was happening to him?' Matthews builds this story so well and adds layer after layer until the reader is completely all in. Actually, this reader was all in from the very first page. As time passes in the book, we begin to unravel the mystery a bit and are totally caught up in the drama, desperately riveted to each page. Her prose, in all her books, carries the reader along like water flowing downstream. Quite a compelling read and one I am glad to add to my collection. Well done indeed! My thanks to Perfectly Proper Press for a copy of this book via the Net Galley platform. I was not expected to leave a positive review. The opinion here is expressly my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lucinda

    10 stars! What do you get when you cross Jane Eyre with Dracula? The epitome of Gothic romance, so exquisitely done, I read it in one sitting. I read the first few chapters when the author shared them on her blog, and I knew it would be amazing. Not only it is a retelling of Jane Eyre and Dracula, but it's also gender reversed and full of mysteries. In every chapter there's a question begging for an answer that won't come until the next chapter, but the clues keep you keep reading, hoping to kno 10 stars! What do you get when you cross Jane Eyre with Dracula? The epitome of Gothic romance, so exquisitely done, I read it in one sitting. I read the first few chapters when the author shared them on her blog, and I knew it would be amazing. Not only it is a retelling of Jane Eyre and Dracula, but it's also gender reversed and full of mysteries. In every chapter there's a question begging for an answer that won't come until the next chapter, but the clues keep you keep reading, hoping to know the resolution and yarning to slow down the reading at the same time. Everything I love about Jane Eyre is in the story, but the mysteries bring it to the next level. John is looking for a new beginning after his last position didn't end well. When he meets the boys, he immediately starts taking care of them and makes changes, even disobeying his employer, Mrs. Rochester. When she returns from her travels, she's not happy with those changes and he fears he might lose his job. Bertha is an imposing woman, whose mistake was falling for a man and not seeing him for who he really was right away. As she and John spend more time together, they establish a kind of friendship, uneven as it is due to their positions. The setting is deliciously Gothic, especially the one that comes from Bertha's letters. And Thornfield Hall is even more mysterious than Charlotte Bronte's. This is the book-to-movie adaptation I'd like to see, with the kind of cast that will ignite the chemistry on screen as it flames on the page. Who would be the perfect cast for John Eyre and Bertha Rochester? I'll have to think about this. I can't recommend this enough. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Breny and Books

    When I saw Rachel Mcmillan’s endorsement of John Eyre, I knew I had to give this book a go! I instantly made his book a priority to read 😌✨ I was dying to read a book that was out of the ordinary, that broke stereotypes and cliches or predictable plots, and this book honestly surpassed my expectations. A gothic, gender bent, Jane Eyre retelling mashed up with another classic I-can’t-tell- you -about-because-it-would- be-a-spoiler? Yes pls ✨✨✨✨✨✨ It was the perfect amount of creepy without being sc When I saw Rachel Mcmillan’s endorsement of John Eyre, I knew I had to give this book a go! I instantly made his book a priority to read 😌✨ I was dying to read a book that was out of the ordinary, that broke stereotypes and cliches or predictable plots, and this book honestly surpassed my expectations. A gothic, gender bent, Jane Eyre retelling mashed up with another classic I-can’t-tell- you -about-because-it-would- be-a-spoiler? Yes pls ✨✨✨✨✨✨ It was the perfect amount of creepy without being scary and the most intriguing characters and a mystery that made me binge read this book in two days 💁🏻‍♀️😂 Mimi Matthews has such a way with storytelling that it sucks you into the story and you literally get addicted to her writing. Her pacing is perfection, even the length of the chapters is *chef’s kiss*. Id love you tell you more, but because this book is essentially a mystery, I believe that reading it not knowing much is the best 👍🏼❤️ (book blurb in comments) I will say though, this book does touch on sensitive subjects such as substance abuse, suicide, infidelity and torture (nothing horribly graphic). There are some spooky scenes that can be scary for very young audiences so I’d say this book is for YA+ :) Content wise, this book is clean as in sex scenes or graphic romance YET it does have some bad words like “da*n, he*l, bi*tch and wh*ore (these last two only appear once in the book and it’s an attempt at translating some foreign language words… you can find them in chapter 26) I hope that helps you decide if this book is for you! ☺️😉 Before finishing, I just want to congratulate @mmimatthewsesq for writing such a unique and enthralling book! 😊 Hands down one of the most original books I’ve ever read! ✨

  25. 4 out of 5

    PlotTrysts

    John Eyre is a super-fun gender-swapped Jane Eyre + Dracula mashup, taken very seriously. By that we mean this isn't just some word-for-word retelling of Jane Eyre, nor is it Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but rather a well-constructed, period-perfect novel... that happens to feature Mr. Rochester as a vampire who is chained in the attic to prevent his preying on the good people of Yorkshire. Perhaps the best part of the book is Bertha Rochester (nee Mason)'s character. She manages to escape f John Eyre is a super-fun gender-swapped Jane Eyre + Dracula mashup, taken very seriously. By that we mean this isn't just some word-for-word retelling of Jane Eyre, nor is it Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but rather a well-constructed, period-perfect novel... that happens to feature Mr. Rochester as a vampire who is chained in the attic to prevent his preying on the good people of Yorkshire. Perhaps the best part of the book is Bertha Rochester (nee Mason)'s character. She manages to escape from an actual vampire (instead of the emotional vampire of the original Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester), conceal the identity of a prisoner in her attic, and get her wards' young and handsome tutor to fall in love with her, all without losing an iota of the original Rochester's mercurial temper and contrary dialogue. A true pleasure to read! This objective review is based on a complimentary copy of the novel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I loved Jane Eyre and I loved this re-telling - with all the gothic atmosphere you come to expect with a little bit more - supernatural. I found this read to be riveting and uniquely original that Mimi Matthews adoringly wrote to perfection. I absolutely love it and I am delighted with this retelling I am recommending this to everyone! I was so absorbed into the story and somehow Matthews continued the story for me in ways that I had questioned reading Jane Eyre in the past. The what ifs.... and I loved Jane Eyre and I loved this re-telling - with all the gothic atmosphere you come to expect with a little bit more - supernatural. I found this read to be riveting and uniquely original that Mimi Matthews adoringly wrote to perfection. I absolutely love it and I am delighted with this retelling I am recommending this to everyone! I was so absorbed into the story and somehow Matthews continued the story for me in ways that I had questioned reading Jane Eyre in the past. The what ifs.... and here it is delivered in the most monumental of ways while combining two classical works of fiction into a book that will runt he test of time. The writing is impeccable and John Eyre is an enthralling read - historical and classics readers will have a hard time putting this book down. All the stars for this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rel

    Lauded for her historical romance, the delectably chilling John Eyre confirms Mimi Matthews’ literary skill crosses genre boundaries with ease. Evocative prose ensures spine-tingling chills, gasp-worthy plot twists abound, and the characters are nothing short of divine! Fierce, independent, and stalwart, Bertha Rochester is a force to be reckoned with, a heroine whose self-possession and vulnerability make her worthy of the name. John is circumspect and steady, the perfect foil to Bertha’s dark v Lauded for her historical romance, the delectably chilling John Eyre confirms Mimi Matthews’ literary skill crosses genre boundaries with ease. Evocative prose ensures spine-tingling chills, gasp-worthy plot twists abound, and the characters are nothing short of divine! Fierce, independent, and stalwart, Bertha Rochester is a force to be reckoned with, a heroine whose self-possession and vulnerability make her worthy of the name. John is circumspect and steady, the perfect foil to Bertha’s dark vibrancy and comes into his own in unexpected ways. Matthews clearly cherishes the classic novels from which she has drawn from, handling them with respect while making the story her own. Creepy, vivid, gothic, and captivating, beware stepping into John Eyre‘s pages as you will take a journey your heart and mind won’t soon forget!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    ***4.5 stars*** It has been a long time since I have read a gothic novel. I had forgotten how much I love the genre. John Eyre is a retelling of two classic novels that have been combined to create a new and refreshing story. I was caught up in the feeling of danger around every corner. The landscape is covered in a mist that is abnormal. Two children who reside in the home are mute because of the horrors they have experienced. Strange sounds are heard in the night and a face appears in the mirror ***4.5 stars*** It has been a long time since I have read a gothic novel. I had forgotten how much I love the genre. John Eyre is a retelling of two classic novels that have been combined to create a new and refreshing story. I was caught up in the feeling of danger around every corner. The landscape is covered in a mist that is abnormal. Two children who reside in the home are mute because of the horrors they have experienced. Strange sounds are heard in the night and a face appears in the mirror. John is the tutor of two children that are in the care of Mrs. Rochester. He cares for the boys and endeavors to teach them, a situation that is hard due to the fact that the boys do not speak. John is patient and loving to the boys and tries new and unique ways to reach them. His employer is a widow and carries secrets with her. The best word I can use to describe the book is unique. Mimi Matthews has proven that she is a multi-faceted author. The book flows beautifully. The book is told through letters, journal entries, and what the characters are currently experiencing. She kept me in suspense as I continued on the journey with the characters. The book contains suspense, non-graphic violence, and a few stolen kisses. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Tagg

    Okay, this book floored me. I thought I knew going into it what to expect (a gender-bend variation on Jane Eyre) but the farther along I got, the more I realized there was much more going on...it was deliciously eerie (even downright creepy in spots). This is a "must shirk all responsibilities and finish in one sitting" read. I always know to expect a captivating read from Mimi Matthews, but this one was thrilling, as well. Love love love! Okay, this book floored me. I thought I knew going into it what to expect (a gender-bend variation on Jane Eyre) but the farther along I got, the more I realized there was much more going on...it was deliciously eerie (even downright creepy in spots). This is a "must shirk all responsibilities and finish in one sitting" read. I always know to expect a captivating read from Mimi Matthews, but this one was thrilling, as well. Love love love!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alissa Baxter

    Wow! This retelling of Jane Eyre and another unnamed classic (I can’t reveal the name of this book without spoiling the story) is gripping. I finished re-reading Jane Eyre a few weeks ago so it was fresh in my mind as I read Mimi Matthews’ spooky take on it. John Eyre will keep you on the edge of your seat! I don’t tend to venture into the realms of this kind of fiction as I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat, truth be told, but I’m glad I did on this occasion as this retelling has been so cleverly done - Wow! This retelling of Jane Eyre and another unnamed classic (I can’t reveal the name of this book without spoiling the story) is gripping. I finished re-reading Jane Eyre a few weeks ago so it was fresh in my mind as I read Mimi Matthews’ spooky take on it. John Eyre will keep you on the edge of your seat! I don’t tend to venture into the realms of this kind of fiction as I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat, truth be told, but I’m glad I did on this occasion as this retelling has been so cleverly done - a truly fresh, unique take on a classic, well-loved tale. Highly recommended! My thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced review copy.

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