fantasy, historical fiction, retellings

Book Review: John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

Book cover for John Eyre by Mimi MatthewsJohn Eyre by Mimi Matthews

Published by Perfectly Proper Press

Genres: Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling

Pages: 362

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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?

My Review

When I saw Rachel Mcmillan’s endorsement of John Eyre, I knew I had to give this book a go! I instantly made this 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 please ✨✨✨✨✨✨

It was the perfect amount of creepy without being scary, had the most intriguing characters plus a mystery that made me binge read this book in two days 💁🏻‍♀️😂 (I’m a super slow reader so two days for me is a miracle lol)

Mimi Matthews has such a way with storytelling, it sucks you into the story almost instantly , making you fall utterly addicted with her writing. Her pacing is perfection and even the length of the chapters is *chef’s kiss*.

I’d love you tell you more, but because this book is essentially a mystery, I believe that reading it not knowing much is the best 👍🏼❤️ 

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 Mimi for writing such a unique and enthralling book! 😊 Hands down one of the most original books I’ve ever read! ✨

Content: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 (Some bad words, torture, blood…details above)

Plot: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 3.5/5

About the Author

Mimi and Centelleo Author Photo

Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty. She researches and writes on all aspects of nineteenth century history—from animals, art, and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law. Her articles have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and can also be found at BUST Magazine.

Mimi’s writing and research have been referenced in such diverse web and print publications as Smithsonian Magazine, The Paris Review, The Journal of Civil War Medicine, and Apartment Therapy. Her work is frequently used in high school and college classrooms as part of an English or History curriculum.

When not writing historical nonfiction, Mimi is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of proper historical 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 and a 2021 Daphne du Maurier Award nominee. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus.

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