Today’s book review comes from team member Helen, she blogs at http://youngmiddleage.blogspot.co.uk
Helen chose to read and review All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray.
What a surprisingly compelling read.
I loved Jane Eyre when I was younger, and I couldn’t resist a sequel; I’d also read some of the author’s blog and I felt she’d really engaged with the original.
I’ve not stopped thinking this now that I’ve read it. There’s a huge amount of thought that’s gone into the way that the characters have been developed, with some surprising turns (I didn’t want Mr Rochester to turn out how he did!) but all very carefully supported by back story taken from JE. I love the way the author’s re-examined incidents in JE under a different light, and let these lead the plot development.
I also loved the way she has incidents that mirror those in JE (and, I think, in the Wide Sargasso Sea, though I’ve not actually read it)such as a slipping on ice/being rescued by man moment.
What worked less well for me? I think there were too many shifts in point of view – while it was “nice” to see the perspectives of quite a cast of characters, a couple of them didn’t (to my mind) add much, and it undid some of the immersion for this reader. There were also some places where the language was a little bit stilted, or repetitive (the word “visage” appears a lot) – I felt that some tough-but-kind editing would have really helped. And I’d have scored out one particular sex scene, which really didn’t fit the rest of the book.
But, a well-researched, thought-provoking and highly readable book, that absorbed me all the way through.