Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT TWELFTH NIGHT AT EYRE HALL by @LucciaGray #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Suraya, find her here

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Suraya has been reading and reviewing Twelfth Night At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray


Review of Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall: Book Two

By Luccia Gray


It is a very brave soul who takes on a writer of Charlotte Bronte’s standing and writes sequels to her much studied and analysed Jane Eyre.

However, Luccia Gray has undertaken the challenge and largely achieved a story that is entertaining and has the mannerisms of the time well captured.

I smiled when Dr. Carter asked Annette if she knew who Florence Nightingale was. As a reader, my silent voice screamed out, “Yes.” But the writer explains that the group in the room nodded with “vacant looks” and the “rather boring doctor” explained who she was. This moment captures the general feel of the book.

There was a lot of dialogue that could be narrative or even edited out.

In Part Two the Lieutenant describes his early childhood and this was excellent. I felt drawn in by the account and the narrative voice, which made it easy to visualise the period in which this story is set. The narrator muses about the changes trains will bring to transport as they replace horses and that set the story well in the period.

There were many occasions when the descriptive passages were vivid and very realistic such as the time the narrator described the house and the verbal exchanges between Lieutenant Kirkpatrick and Polly.

From here the story takes off and The Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall gathers pace and mystery. Before we know it we are in the middle of a terrible tale of lost babies and torture of baby traders.

There is an unforgettable chapter called Mr. Dickens Visits Eyre Hall where he meets Jane Elliot. Dickens observes that although he had enjoyed her novels they were too full of “unlikely coincidences and unrealistic happy endings.” I found myself wondering if this was the writer telling me what to expect of her writing.

In fact this was proven to be the case because there are loose ends, like Michael’s return, that have been left for the author to reveal in her third and final book of the Eyre Hall trilogy.

This is a pleasant holiday read.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Twelfth Night At Eyre Hall by @LucciaGray #SundayBlogShare

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

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Noelle has been reading Twelfth Night At Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray


Book Review:  Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray

I read and reviewed this author’s first book in her Eyre Hall Trilogy, hesitant because I was not a fan of Jane Eyre and also because I had found reading adaptive continuations of fiction written during that era to be boring and a slog. I was pleasantly surprised! I liked All Hallows at Eyre Hall; it was meticulously researched and a worthy continuation of Jane Eyre’s story. With Twelfth Night, Ms. Gray gets further from the original, but also establishes herself as solid writer of historical romance.

A little back story: In All Hallows, which begins twenty-two years after Jane’s marriage to Edward Rochester, Jane is coping with the imminent death of her bedridden husband, whose lifetime of infidelities has profoundly changed their relationship. Richard Mason, brother of Rochester’s mad first wife, returns from Jamaica, bringing with him Annette. Annette is unaware she is Rochester’s daughter by Mason’s sister. This vile man tells Annette that Jane – limned as the devil by Mason – will provide for her education and a dowry and find her a suitable husband. Mason believes Jane played a role in the death of his sister and plans vengeance on Jane. As a widow and chatelaine of the Rochester estate, Jane is truly a good person, concerned about her family, especially her son John, the welfare of the servants, and the poor children in the villages, Despite her wishes to be above reproach, Jane falls deeply and sensually in love with a most inappropriate man, Michael Kirkpatrick, many years her junior, and a valet to her husband before his death. In an effort to preserve Jane’s reputation, Michael leaves the estate and Jane is blackmailed into marrying the detestable Mason.

In Twelfth Night, all of the main characters return, with the introduction of several new ones, including some who had hovered at the edges in the first book. Again, the story is told from several points of view, which normally might confuse a reader, but here provides depth and richness to the story. Jane is recovering from a long, unstated illness and Annette, who has come to appreciate Jane, has developed romantic feelings for Jane’s son, unaware he is her half-brother. Now a Navy lieutenant, Michael returns to discover Jane’s marriage to Mason. In addition, Jane is now a published author, under a male pseudonym. When Mason returns to the estate, he immediately resumes his sexual predation of the Hall’s younger female servants, unknown to Jane. This is just a brief introduction to the web of complex relationships among the people who will reside at the Hall during the holidays. Ms. Gray draws us into their lives and the social strata, with its attendant bigotry, greed, ignorance, repressed sexuality, and superstition – all of the little gems of a great Gothic novel. I was sufficiently captivated by the story to put the book down only when I absolutely had to.

There are wonderful historical touches throughout the book, such as the introduction of a sin eater and the visit of Charles Dickens with Jane. The author has done her research well, which is what makes the book a rich treat. While some historical romances drown in detail and reading them is like plowing through mud, the pacing and descriptions in Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall is robust and full of twists and turns.

I strongly recommend Ms. Gray’s second outing with Jane Eyre and look forward to reading the third book in the Trilogy.

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The #RBRT Reviewer Profiles – Luccia Gray @LucciaGray


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Reviewers on the #RBRT are very busy hard working people who give their time freely, so I thought it was about time readers had the chance to meet them and find out a bit more about them.



Luccia Gray lives in Spain

Lcccia posts team book reviews here;

Blog: Rereading Jane Eyre, at

She also shares book reviews on @LucciaGray

I post reviews on twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Google+

Genres Luccia enjoys;

Historical and contemporary romance, mystery, and suspense. Character driven novels.

Book Formats Luccia prefers for the review team;

I prefer mobi, pdf, or Amazon gift.

Hobbies, interests, and any pets?

I love going to the cinema, theatre, and visiting museums. I enjoy long walks anywhere, but especially along the seafront, in the countryside, or through the old towns within European cities. I love cooking for friends and family. What I enjoy most is reading, discussing literature, and writing. Jacky has been living with me since she took shelter in my porch almost sixteen years ago! According to the vet, she’s part Japanese Spitz and part poodle.

Reading Soft edge

I asked, “What new genres have you tried from the review team list?”

Historical, crime, romance, mystery, women’s fiction.

“What genres make you step out of your comfort zone?”

I have a hard time getting into political thrillers, fantasy and dystopian. I don’t mind erotica, as long as there’s a sound plot and character development.

“What do you look for in a book?”

Usually it’s the characters in a novel, which draw me in. I like to hear them speak and interact, feel their concerns, watch them grow, and observe them cope with the events the author throws at them!

“Book Styles you don’t enjoy?”

I have a hard time getting into political thrillers, fantasy and dystopian. I don’t mind trilogies, or series, but I’m not keen on books which are too long (more than 120,000 words).

“Do you read + review Non-Fiction?”

I’m not keen on reviewing non-fiction, unless it’s a topic I’m very interested in.

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.


You can read more book reviews at my website:

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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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