A Breath of Eyre: book review

Finally had some time and energy to…… do something! I read a new book, wrote  a review, and here I am now turning that review into a blog post! I even just added the goodreads widget to my sidebar! Wow, listen to me, I can speak blog!

I know that I could just create a link directly to the book review I posted on goodreads, but I’d rather just post the whole thing right here. I like it better that way. And, similar to the words of Leslie Gore and Miley Cyrus, It’s my blog. I can do what I want to.

a breath of eyre “In this stunning, imaginative novel, Eve Marie Mont transports her modern-day heroine into the life of Jane Eyre to create a mesmerizing story of love, longing, and finding your place in the world.”

I didn’t write that lovely summary. I could never be so concise. Anyway, here is what I did write:

Wow! Very clever, very nicely done! Water, fire, and lightning. If you’re referencing Bronte and Bronte you’ve got to have fire and lightning- and this book’s got it! This is a book for readers, for book lovers, for lovers of the classics. And this is a book especially for lovers of Jane Eyre. The more you know about classic novels and authors the more fun this read will be. I HIGHLY recommend reading Jane Eyre first- you will get so much more out of this if you have. Jane Eyre must be the author’s favorite novel, or at least in her top three. And towards the end of the story when a bolt of lightning strikes “the giant chestnut tree” and “it was split right in two”- I had to conclude that the author must be a Bronte fan in general.

I really liked the way the author weaved the story of Jane Eyre into this novel. At one point it’s complete immersion and Emma becomes Jane, and you are literally reading paragraphs straight out of Jane Eyre. This was brilliantly done. As I was reading I kept wondering about the author, “How did she do this!?”. Did she know how she would weave it all together from the start? Or did it come together as she was writing, a little at a time? As a reader I could *feel* the slow but steady pull of Emma becoming Jane. During that time the tone of this story becomes more serious and mature- because Jane Eyre is a more serious and mature novel than this one. And that’s on purpose. When Emma “returns” from Thornfield she is different. Of course, how could she not be after what she experiences! She has matured and the novel itself actually grows with her. The language becomes a bit more mature, and complex themes are introduced and invited to stay: friendship, love, growing-up, sexuality, psychology, mental health, forgiveness- even spirituality. All of these, and more, are touched upon in this story- but not over done, and when I realized this it made me think of the title “A breath of Eyre”. That title works on so many levels for this novel!

So the author includes all the best themes that readers love to grapple with while also making multiple references to classic lit, and all the while she continues to subtly weave in words, themes, and sub-plots from Jane Eyre even after Emma has left Thornfield. Jane Eyre is part of the story all through the novel, whether Emma is living her life, or Jane’s, but it is Emma’s story.

Here I am raving about it yet I’ve rated it only a 3. Why? Well, for one thing, I take my rating way too seriously and put much more time and thought into than I should be- I mean, it’s not like I’m getting paid to do this! (I wish!) So my 4 and 5 ratings are reserved for the likes of Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, Pride & Prejudice, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, and of course, Jane Eyre.That said- in this novel I did notice a small flaw in the plot, a missed or neglected detail or two. I didn’t like that the heroine ended up in the hospital 4 times in 1 year! Sheesh! Annoying. And, lastly, the ever changing, confusing feelings and connections (or lack of) that Emma had with the men in her life. Mr. Rochester, Mr. Gallagher, her father, and Gray. For a while there was that whole Mr. Rochester/Mr. Gallagher/daughter-longing-for-her-father thing. But then she called Gray “my Mr. Rochester”. But I thought she didn’t want a Mr. Rochester?… Read it, you’ll see what I mean.

*I just found out that this novel is part of a trilogy. I don’t know anything about the next installment other than the title: A Touch of Scarlet. I’m thinking either Gone With the Wind or The Scarlet Letter…. We’ll see!

*

So, the book is good and is sort of an ode to Jane Eyre. Another excellent book which also directly references Jane Eyre is The Thirteenth Tale. It was, in fact, The thirteenth Tale that inspired me to finally read Jane Eyre.

the thirteenth tale

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