It’s no secret… I love Jane Eyre. You can flip over to my blog post on Jane to refresh yourself if you need to! Everything about the book is just wonderful, and on top of that the Bronte’s are fascinating to me. So when I saw Mr. Rochester, by Sarah Shoemaker, I was put into a bookish trance at Chapters. I had been putting off buying this book for awhile, but every time I went into the bookstore and saw this beautiful book I picked it up… I opened the book up and devoured a couple pages, until I just finally bought.
This book was an investment piece for me!! It was not cheap $35.00 CA, but I just had to own this book. 1) This cover is beautiful. 2) The pages are deckled and feel so classic. 3) It’s fan fiction on my most favourite classic. Enough said.
Mr. Rochester is a coming of age story of one of the most famous fictional male characters of all time. We all know the Edward Fairfax Rochester that Jane had fallen in love with. But the premise of this novel is how Edward from beginning to end became the way he is, and the thoughts behind haughty, complex character we all are familiar with.
It starts off with an introduction to Edward’s first memories of his mother who had died during birth. He introduces you to his father, his brother, and most of all Thornfield-Hall. From the very beginning you see what a lonely childhood Edward had, and how he yearned to be loved while he spent his time discovering Thornfield-Hall. At the age of eight his father ships him off to a boarding school to get an education, sending him away from everyone and everything he had ever known.
Without thinking, I reached my arms around her waist for the hug that I had so often hoped for, she held me tight, her cheek against my hair for a moment, and it was all I could do to keep from crying as I lost what I had barely known I had.
From here starts a journey that shapes Edward into the man he becomes, from early jobs, to Jamaica, to the women he seduces. In my mind, Edward is a stud!! He’s complex, intelligent, and downright sexy. During his time in Jamaica he meets Antoinetta Bertha Mason, who forever changes his path, and he marries the “madwoman” unbeknownst to him that she is.
Then… I hope you are familiar with the story of how Jane and Mr. Rochester fell in love, but if you aren’t you will have to read it to find out. And my friends, if you are familiar with this love story, then re-reading it from his perspective is an absolute game changer.
I’m not going to lie to you, in Jane Eyre, when you read that iconic line;
Reader, I married him.
I was so mad. I thought Jane could be the ultimate independent woman, and that she could do better than Edward Fairfax Rochester. BUT, now reading his side of story… I believe she made the best choice. The way that Edward describes Jane in this independent, spunky, witty manner makes a reader fall in love with with her all over again.
She had saved my life in more ways than she knew. I would keep Bertha a secret from her, no matter what. I would do whatever I must to not lose Jane Eyre.
Sarah Shoemaker did an amazing job of capturing the spirit of a classic novel, while keeping it so readable. Even the pace of Mr. Rochester matched the pace of Jane Eyre. I found both of these novels to have a slow, and steady beginning that introduced you to the characters and why their behaviours were in place. Then as you got to know the characters, and began to root for their future, the pace seemed to pick up to an unforgettable ending.
You guys, I have to tell you this book gave me all the feels. This is such a great coming of age story, but the love story takes the cake for me. It’s so beautifully written that it brought me to tears. I loved every second of reading this novel, and if you decide to pick up, I hope you have the same experience!
And there is Jane, my dearest heart, who walks with me and reads to me and talks and laughs with me and teases, and sometimes slides down the banister when no one is about, and who calls me “Edward” every day of my life.
But please, do me a favour and first read Jane Eyre… then pick up Mr. Rochester. I feel like either book could stand alone and a reader would be 100% satisfied at the end. BUT, if you want to feel 1000% satisfied read Jane Eyre first.
Okay, enough of me gushing over this book. Till next time…happy reading, bookish friends!!