Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Georgia reviews All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

Today we have a review from team member Georgia, she blogs at


Georgia chose to read and review All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray


All Hallows at Eyre Hall – Luccia Gray


I read Jane Eyre many years ago at school and whilst the story has remained with me it is not a book I have ever felt the need to reread so I wasn’t sure how I would get on with this sequel from Luccia Gray. I need not have worried. Gray has done an excellent job of reimagining the Gothic classic where we find Jane as Mrs Rochester, lady of the house, 23 years older and with Mr Rochester on his deathbed.

Jane is a strong woman, much stronger than I remembered her and she needs to be, her main purpose is to protect her son John, for whom she has great plans in career and marriage, and she has much to protect him from. Her husband has not been a good one and his past misdeeds, that have been hidden for so long, are now coming back to haunt Jane and threaten the future she has planned for John. Some of the things Mr Rochester has done are truly evil and at one part in the book we see the story from his point of view when his selfishness knows no bounds in that he does something terrible just so he can have his Jane solely to himself again.

This is a solidly well told and well written story by Gray with the narrative and dialogue very much in line with the original and although I felt it a little slow at the beginning as we are filled in on the back story it soon picks up the pace and I was left not wanting to put it down. I loved the delicate romance that developed through it, however inappropriate it was at that time and again Jane is the one scheming to come up with a plan that will allow the lovers to be together.

This story is told from several different points of view which, though interesting, at times became a little confusing as you had to work out from whose perspective you were now viewing the story.

I don’t want to say too much more that will give anything away but Jane is heavily involved in the lives and futures of many others and the following parts of this trilogy will be interesting as there are many threads left hanging although this book ends in a satisfying way and not on a cliff hanger. I’m not convinced John has the same aspirations in life as his mother has for him for starters. Then there’s Jane’s planned marriage of convenience…so much has been left for us to enjoy in the future.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Helen reviews All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

Today’s book review comes from team member Helen, she blogs at


Helen chose to read and review All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray.

All Hallows at Eyre Hall

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.

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Rosie’s Book review Team #RBRT Susan reviews All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

Here is a book review from team member Susan, she blogs at


Susan chose to read and review All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray


Book Review:

It takes a huge amount of courage and dedication to take on writing a sequel to a beloved classic. To do it well, the author must know, without any doubt, the characters and their motives. Luccia Gray knows Jane Eyre and the people in her life as if she were living among them.


I always saw Jane Eyre as a girl who suffered through a cold, hard life but managed to find advantages in her circumstances that permitted her to succeed. I did not see her at all as a spineless jellyfish, but a young woman who braved each new situation with resolve and resilience.  Her decisions and commitments were born out of a desire to improve herself and to love with complete abandon. Her relationship with Mr. Rochester provided for both. As an orphan myself, Jane Eyre is a character dear to my heart.

In Jane Eyre I had issue with Mr. Rochester’s past when he first took on his relationship with Jane. The way he frolicked with the Ingram girl, others, and the deplorable manner in which he managed his first wife caused me much disrespect for the man. I have often felt those who suffered mental illness in eras past had the cruellest existence imaginable. In All Hallows at Eyre Hall, Ms. Gray empathized through Jane all of my feelings about Bertha, her life, and what I had supposed about her. My suspicions about Mr. Rochester were brought out of the shadows and into the light with each word and I felt Jane Eyre had been somewhat venerated.


With Rochester on his deathbed, Jane assumes a leadership role with real decisiveness and strength of character. Strong and clever enough to manage a huge estate, yet merciful and compassionate enough to find forgiveness, Jane does not wrongfully hold others responsible for Rochester’s misdeeds. Jane’s recent past comes to life with all of its joy and sorrow. The relationships she develops are true to her original character and I believe Charlotte Bronte would enjoy this book. The emotions expressed are nearly tangible, as always, love is blind. Luccia Gray also managed to capture a perfect sense of place and time on the moors of old England and in the sprawling manor home, in the clothes and behaviours of the cast.

Initially the first person multiple points of view threw me, but Gray makes it easy to note who is doing the thinking and talking by her distinct voices for each character and a quick reference with each change. I enjoyed this book immensely and am eager to read the next book in the planned trilogy. There are new people and anticipated new places in Jane Eyre’s life. While All Hallows at Eyre Hall answered many questions that remained with the reading of Jane Eyre, the author also leaves us sitting on the edge of our seats anxiously waiting the unfolding of the rest of the story.


5 of 5 Stars

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Susan reviews All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

Today our book review comes from Susan, she blogs at


Susan chose to read and review All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

All Hallows at Eyre Hall

BOOK REVIEW:  “All Hallows at Eyre Hall” by Luccia Gray

By Susan Marie Molloy


I’ll cut to the chase:

All Hallows at Eyre Hall is exciting, masterfully written, and left me cheering for, and sometimes scowling at, all the characters within, while gleefully enjoying the twists and surprises of the story and character development.

When we left off with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in the 1840s, Jane was pretty much a blasé, spineless jellyfish in a sea of scandal and mysteries.  The Byronic Edward Fairfax Rochester was morally bankrupt with an insane first wife, and overall, he was not as nice a man as Jane would have been lead to believe.  What has become of Jane, Edward, et al?


Luccia Gray picked up the story in All Hallows at Eyre Hall.  We find it is two decades later, in 1860s England, and Jane is stronger; she is a busy, modern, mature woman within a difficult marriage to the still-despicable Edward.  Jane realizes that Edward’s failings and infamous perverse past – illegitimate issue included – leads her to no longer loving him, and yet, although outside circumstances entice her towards a happier life without him, she at least publicly remains steadfast as his devoted wife.  Privately, yet inappropriately, she falls in love with a much younger man.  Edward’s brother-in-law, Richard Mason (brother of Edward’s first wife) returns, and he attempts to wheedle his way into the estate.


All Hallows is believable and well-written, true to the “voice” of Brontë, and well-researched.  In fact, at times I thought Charlotte Brontë was writing this; that is how fabulous a writer Luccia Gray is.  This is not to say that she is a copy-cat writer.  No, the author understands and “gets” the flavour, feel, and construction of Brontë’s work – an honour to a classic author, and thus, that is how sequels should be written.  Bravo!


Written as a rotating narrative, the reader will find the richness of each character’s soul, perception, and thoughts conveyed in the first person.  Indeed, my favourite chapter that reflects a breathless and soulful first-person narrative is “The Funeral.”


I especially enjoyed references by the characters within All Hallows to contemporary events and literature.  Within the pages we correctly discover that Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is Queen Victoria’s favourite poet laureate.  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is discussed by the characters (though the novel was published about fifteen years before All Hallows events), and mention was made of David Copperfield.  This is real life between the fictional pages.


All Hallows is peppered with French phrases and sentences.  This is wonderfully placed and true to novels written at the time of Brontë, et al.  It is not unusual to read English language books published at that time that are interleaved with French.  Educated writers and readers were well-versed in French, so to see and read it within English-language novels was not uncommon.


Luccia Gray is a beautifully descriptive writer.  I sensed a need to don my wool cape when she wrote: “ . . . the horizon is grey, the air smells of damp weeds, and the wind is cold and furious . . .”   I felt the almost imperceptible warmth on my face when “ . . . the sun . . . was suddenly visible, pale and low on the distant horizon.”  Through her descriptions, I was there – right there.


On All Hallows Eve (Halloween), several characters related ghost stories that intrigued me.  I felt I was there in the room with them, night-time with tallow candles burning and throwing otherworldly shadows across the walls.  The cakes baked and eaten during All Hallows reflect the custom of placing certain coloured buttons within, portending the future of each person who finds one in his slice.  These events wonderfully relate old customs not seen much since.


Within the chapter, “A Letter from the Past,” the author brought me to early mornings at Eyre Hall.  There is the perfectly-described organized morning with servants preparing breakfast, cleaning, and the mistress of the estate busying herself with accounting books and writing letters.  I found myself re-reading this portion to revel in the clear images brought to my mind.


There was only one sentence early in the novel that confused me and caused me to re-read several times to understand its meaning:  “Mothers should not spend too much time with the male siblings, as they soften their minds . . .”  I thought the word “sibling” should be “offspring” or “child” or some such familial label.  I thought Edward was discussing his distaste for Jane’s devotion to their son, not a brother, as I understood the sentence.


Overall, this is an exquisitely written, well-researched, and well-conveyed continuation of Jane Eyre.  I am anticipating the next novel, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, which is due out this fall.


I give five brilliantly shining stars out of five to All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray.


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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Noelle reviews All Hallows At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

Today’s review is from Book review team member Noelle, she blogs at


Noelle has read All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

All Hallows at Eyre Hall

Here is her review.

All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray: Review

I must be honest and tell you that I am always suspicious of books that are a spin off from a classic read. This time, however, I was completely in the wrong. All Hallows at Eyre Hall kept me tightly bound to my reading of it and constantly entertained with its twists and turns.

I was never a great fan of the original Jane Eyre. I thought she was wimpy and colourless and Edward Rochester pusillanimous. Now, more than twenty years later, Jane has a backbone and Edward is still spineless, whining, and morally corrupt. But now Jane is fully cognizant of his failings and no longer loves him. The book begins with Edward on his deathbed and I thought, At last, Jane is free and can live her own life. Richard Mason returns, brother of Bertha, Edward’s first, mad wife, who lived locked on the top floor of Thornfield Hall – the same man who interrupted Jane’s first wedding ceremony by claiming bigamy because his sister was still living. With him comes an evil that threatens to destroy everything Jane holds dear – her sanity, her family and Eyre Hall. The venal Richard tries again to insinuate himself into the Rochester estate and its money by bringing with him to Eyre Hall a young girl, whom he claims is the offspring of Edward and Bertha. He also plants a mole at the Hall to spy for him.

During this period, Jane once again falls deeply and inappropriately in love, but this time with a much younger man, whose status as staff at the Hall creates a love story with unexpected twists and turns. There is a lot more to this love story, but I don’t want to be a spoiler.

What Richard demands to keep both Annette’s lineage and Jane’s love a secret aroused murderous feelings in this reader. There are also new revelations of extent of Edward’s depravity, creating more impossible stressors in Jane’s life. Jane’s response to these threats to her future and to that of her son John (who has an immediate and innocent attraction to the Annette), is planned out with her usual practicality, but will it work? Will she be strong enough to go through with her plan? The reader will need to get the next volume in this trilogy, out this fall.

I found the characters in All Hallows at Eyre Hall richly drawn, and the descriptions that maintain the period of the piece well researched and in perfect continuity to the original book. Whether you liked or disliked the original Jane Eyre, you will find this sequel alternately engaging, surprising and impossible to put down.

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