Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 3:39 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Mimi Matthews
Perfectly Proper Press (July 20, 2021)
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1736080207
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1736080221

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?
Interview with Mimi Matthews

What was the inspiration behind John Eyre? How did you come to think there might be a good story there?
- The idea for John Eyre originally arose from several lines in Jane Eyre where one could easily imagine that a character was talking about an actual monster as opposed to a human being. I was also influenced by my own evolving view of Mr. Rochester as a hero. I felt that in a retelling, I could bring a sense of power and strength to the character of Bertha Rochester, while at the same time, ultimately holding Edward Rochester to account.

Tell us a bit about your Brontë history.
- I’m a lifelong reader of all the Brontë novels. I’ve written about them and their authors—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—for nonfiction books and articles as well Charlotte’s Jane Eyre will always have a special place in my heart, but it’s Emily’s Wuthering Heights that’s actually my favorite.

What was the hardest thing about writing John Eyre? And the most agreeable?
- There were a few scenes in John Eyre where I confined my retelling to the four walls of that scene’s original structure. I compare it to a room where I was allowed to redecorate, but not remodel. It was limiting in many ways, but I feel that, for certain iconic moments, it worked best for the story.
The most agreeable part was, by far, writing about Bertha Rochester’s life-altering experiences abroad. Her chapters of the story are told in letter and journal entries. I had so much fun writing them!

What would you like your readers to take with them after reading John Eyre?
- John Eyre was written purely for fun, so above all, I hope they’ll enjoy it. I also hope they’ll find it satisfying to see Bertha come into her own.

Have you read other sequels/prequels/retellings of Brontë novels? Do you have any favourites?
- I’ve read The Wide Sargasso Sea, of course, and really enjoyed it. As for more recent iterations, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James and  Brontë’s Mistress by Finola Austen are at the top of my TBR list.

What do you think Charlotte Brontë would make of the fact that her novel has inspired so many other novels?
- I hope she would take it as a compliment! It’s certainly meant that way, especially in my case. I’m foremost a fan. I only wish Charlotte might have lived to write
John Eyre Blog Tour

July 12 Syrie James (review)
July 13 Bronte Blog (interview)
July 13 Laura's Reviews (review)
July 13 All-of-a-Kind Mom (spotlight)
July 14 Gwendalyn's Books (review)
July 14 Austenesque Reviews (review)
July 15 Bookworm Lisa (review)
July 15 Nurse Bookie (review)
July 16 Savvy Verse and Wit (excerpt)
July 16 The Lit Bitch (review)
July 17 My Bookish Bliss (review)
July 17 From the TBR Pile (review)
July 18 Rosanne E. Lortz (review)
July 18 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (review)
July 19 The Secret Victorianist (review)
July 19 The Gothic Library (review)
July 20 Getting Your Read On (review)
July 20 Lu Reviews Books (review
July 21 The Green Mockingbird (review)
July 22 Unabridged Chick (review)
July 22 A Darn Good Read (review)
July 23 Kathleen Flynn (review)
July 23 So Little Time… (review)
July 23 The Calico Critic (review)
July 24 The Bronte Babe (review)
July 24 Probably at the Library (review)
July 24 Impressions in Ink (review)
July 25 From Pemberley to Milton (review)
July 25 Vesper's Place (review)


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