John Eyre is a gender reversed tale of Jane Eyre mashed up with Dracula, but because I’ve never read Dracula, and it’s been many years since I’ve read Jane Eyre, I never felt compelled to compare these stories. In fact, Mathews writing kept me wondering what would happen next at every turn, putting this book in the unputdownable category. I must say the only thing I didn’t like about John Eyre was reaching the last page and realizing I couldn’t continue reading. This book is so good that I couldn’t focus on anything else during the day because my mind kept returning to its pages.
So, why is it so good? First and foremost, the writing is phenomenal! I can say that I’ve felt sadness, horror and even afraid at times. I don’t remember the last time a book made me feel scared, but John Eyre pulled me right into the castle with Bertha and made me feel everything she was feeling.
John Eyre is so well written that the reader is not a bystander of this gothic novel, he is part of it. He starts living every scene with the characters and that is what makes this book memorable.
The main characters were another aspect that captivated me throughout the entire story. I absolutely loved Bertha Rochester. She is a strong female who is not afraid to follow her dreams, and when things go south, she is not afraid to face what is up ahead with a resilience that is admirable. The story takes place in 1843 but it is intertwined with Bertha’s letters and journal entries that reveal to the reader past events which help explain how she became the women she is when John first meets her. This structure of the book, as well all the details the reader slowly uncovers, makes him understand how strong and lonely Bertha must be, and how John Eyre is exactly the companion she needs to have at her side. He is not the typical romantic hero, but he is everything she needs, and their love story was also something I loved in the book.
The love story in John Eyre is not between a lady and her savior or protector, but between a strong woman who only needs someone who trusts and believes in her. Someone she can rely on and who is willing to be her equal. John stepped up to the challenge and conquered my heart by doing it. It was refreshing to see a different type of romantic hero who is not a stereotype character, and to be presented to a heroine who was able to do so much on her own for so long.
Because John Eyre is a gothic novel, there is also a lot of mystery in it and I loved it all, especially the mystery surrounding the boys. I wouldn’t have mind to know a little more about them and how they ended up in the situation we found them.
Summing up, John Eyre is an exciting gothic novel that readers will find difficult to put down. It is extremely well written, full of mystery, and with characters that are well built and hard to forget. It is definitely one of my favorite books this year and I highly recommend it to everyone.
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USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Regency and Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in 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 Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.
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