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A deft and irresistible retelling of Charlotte Brontë's beloved classic Jane Eyrefrom the point of view of the dashing, mysterious Mr. Rochester himself.
For 170 years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature's most complex and captivating romantic heroes. Sometimes cruel, sometimes tender, Jane Eyre's mercurial master at Thornfield Hall has mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece for generations. But his own story has never been told.
We first meet this brilliant, tormented hero as a motherless boy roaming Thornfield's lonely corridors. On the morning of Edward's eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from all he ever loved. Young Edward's journey will take him across working-class England and the decadence of continental Europe before he lands on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica, where his inheritance lies.
That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and Edward soon grows entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town's ravishing heiress, Bertha Antoinetta Mason. Eventually, in the wake of a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain young governess who will steal his heart and teach him how to love again.
MR. ROCHESTER is a sweeping coming-of-age story and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Brontë's original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.
*Includes reading group guide*
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Sarah Shoemaker is a former university librarian and currently lives in northern Michigan.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The first half of the book is really great, you fall in with Rochester and travel his early life with him. The second half is very Bronte-esque, descriptive and wordy, as Rochester meets up with Jane. A wonderful job of telling the Jane Eyre story from another point of view.
I am so glad this book was written. It really adds a wonderful dimention to the original.
Mr. Rochester tells the story of the enigmatic Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. It starts out when he’s a boy and up through Jane Eyre, all through his eyes. This was a pretty decent book, especially for those that always wanted to know more about this famous character. I’ve read plenty of books about Mr. Darcy but this is the first I’ve seen from this character. I recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
While listening to the pitter-patter on the windows, I finished this fantastic book "Mr. Rochester" by Sarah Shoemaker. This is a great companion book to the ultimate romance (well one of them in my opinion) "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë. I first read "Jane Eyre" in high school, and fell in love with the characters and moody, Gothic story. Shoemaker expands upon this world by providing Edward Rochester's tale. I don't want to give too much away, but I think Shoemaker provides and interesting take on Rochester's actions. In her book, he isn't necessarily this cold, sharp man that one gets to know in "Jane Eyre". Rochester is a complex character, getting his perspective and his backstory fill in some gaps and although I already loved him as a character, he became more endearing to me after reading this book. Shoemaker writes very well, and she submerges you into this time period. Some historical novels can get a little heavy handed with descriptive, which I don't necessarily dislike, but this novel provides enough detail without overdoing it. I highly recommend "Mr. Rochester" if you like historical fiction, romance, and Gothic genres. Now, if you haven't read "Jane Eyre", you should really read that first. Do yourself a favor and read that book, it is fantastic and one of the classics. Afterward, when you are wanting more to the story, read Shoemaker's "Mr. Rochester". You won't judge Mr. Rochester so harshly. I was provided a copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
Fans of Jane Eyre, take note. Though it's been many years since my last reading, I have long loved Jane Eyre. It was likely one of the first Gothic novels I ever read and I chased it with Bronte's sister's Wuthering Heights, whose central relationship puzzles me to this day. Do not give me Cathy and Heathcliff. Give me one Edward Rochester and his Jane. Mr. Rochester attempts to answer the questions which have plagued Eyrites since publication. Who exactly is Rochester? How did he make the decisions he did? Just why does he have an insane wife locked up in the attic??? Mr. Rochester takes us to his childhood and then works its way up to when he and Jane meet. Rochester grew up in Thornfield Hall and feels more kinship to his home than to his distant father and brother. He is a sweet child and it's hard to know what his father would have molded him into had Rochester been allowed to stay at Thornfield. Instead, he is sent away to live with a tutor the day after his 8th birthday. It is the first of a few jarring transitions at the hand of his puppet master father. It almost seems as if the moment Rochester becomes comfortable where he is and makes friends, his father sends summons to move him along. I really enjoyed seeing Rochester's relationships with Carrot and Touch, the other boys who live with the tutor, and also getting a glimpse of where Rochester's interests first developed. From there he moves on to learn how to run a mill and then finally he heads to Jamaica to look after his father's business. This was what I was waiting for. I wanted the payoff for how Bertha became the anchor weighing our hero down and I got it. We see Rochester and Bertha meet and once they're married, we see the machinations behind it and the filters come off. It made me angry on his behalf and angry he wouldn't divorce her and just plain angry about the state of mental illness and lack of rights for women in those times. Rochester copes as best as he can but he doesn't come across as the best guy. Frankly, despite the havoc Bertha wreaked on his life, his privilege was showing. I started to think maybe I didn't want him to end up with Jane after all. (I did not expect to have that reaction!) Finally, about three-quarters of the way through, Rochester and Jane meet. The plot from Jane Eyre is woven in seamlessly, the dialogue less so. It was jarring to hear Bronte's wording after being lost in Shoemaker's rendering mostly the whole way through. However, this was where the book really came alive for me and I was thrilled to see Jane and Rochester become closer and know precisely what Rochester, man of mystery, was thinking as it happened. My heart broke for him as he was lost in his agony after the fire. And my heart broke for her and then rejoiced upon her return. Did Rochester deserve Jane's love? Probably not but then again, how many of us deserve life's gifts? I really enjoyed Shoemaker's interpretation of Rochester's world. It was at times a more favorable depiction, particularly the way slavery is presented while he's in Jamaica, though it's possible I don't remember its source material having an abolitionist bent. After knowing Jane's point of view for so long, I'm glad we got to see Rochester's side of things and try to understand some of his choices. Reader, I'm so glad he married her and she married him. Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.