[Review] John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

Publisher and Publication Date: Perfectly Proper Press. July 20, 2021.
Genre: Gothic literature.
Pages: 364.
Format: NetGalley e-book.
Source: I received a complimentary NetGalley e-book copy from Austenprose. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers who are in the mood for a Gothic literature story.
Rating: Excellent.

Purchase links:
Barnes and Noble

Advance Praise:

“Bertha Mason Rochester shines, dominating her scenes with vitality and strength. The style, too, is spot-on, reprising the spirit of 19th-century Gothic prose without descending into mimicry.”— Publishers Weekly

“An entertaining spin on a classic with thrilling twists and turns…Matthews skillfully transforms a well-known story into a truly original tale.”— Kirkus

“[Matthews] retells Charlotte Bronte’s classic story in a way that will keep fans of the original novel totally gripped from cover to cover… Fresh and dynamic… Fast-paced and spellbinding…a book you will have a hard time putting down.”—
Readers Favorite

“One of the most moving, suspenseful, innovative and remarkable retellings of a classic in the history of, well, ever… Every page is sheer rapture as [Matthews] moulds popular source material into a spell-binding creation so wholly her
own.”— Rachel McMillan, bestselling author of The London Restoration

“[A] captivating and ingenious retelling of Jane Eyre with a supernatural twist. Smart, suspenseful, and deliciously spooky, JOHN EYRE is a must-read; I loved everything about it!”— Ashley Weaver, author of the Amory Ames Mysteries
and the Electra McDonnell series

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Regency and Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.

Website/ Twitter/ Facebook/ Pinterest/ BookBub/ Goodreads


Yorkshire, England. 1843.
When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer—a widow as alluring as she is mysterious. Sixteen months earlier, heiress Bertha Mason embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Marriage wasn’t on her itinerary, but on meeting the enigmatic Edward Rochester, she’s powerless to resist his preternatural charm. In letters and journal entries, she records the story of their rapidly disintegrating life together, and of her gradual realization that Mr. Rochester isn’t quite the man he appears to be. In fact, he may not be a man at all. From a cliff-top fortress on the Black Sea coast to an isolated estate in rural England, John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?

My Thoughts:

John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness is a story strong in atmospheric tension and mystery. It is a story re-written from two famous stories of the 19th century. Both of these stories are favorites of mine. When I had the opportunity to read and review John Eyre I jumped at the chance with excitement.

There are several reasons why I love John Eyre:
1. It is a story thick with tension, mystery, anticipation, fear, and dread.
2. I love the details in the story. Human mannerisms and the small things that are done every day that bring a realness to the story. For example, the winding of a pocket watch.
3. I love the descriptions of the scenery and homes. In an atmospheric story like Gothic literature, it is important to show the reader an impact of the gray and grim; and a mist or fog or other objects that obscures what maybe behind it. It is writing that brings mystery and tension.
4. There is a level of sexuality or sensualness in some of the characters, but it is not to a point that takes the story to a level that is too revealing. It is subtle but noticeable.
5. John Eyre is the lead character or hero in @Austenprosethe story. If you recognize his last name, and if you remember the character in the famous 19th century story, Jane Eyre, you are correct. He is the male form of Jane. The story Jane Eyre is my number one favorite story!
6. John Eyre comes across as a Byronic type hero. One of the anticipations for me while reading is I waited and hoped for his character to mature or blossom. I wanted to see a full revealing of his person. I also had strong empathy for him.
7. The story towards the end has gruesome details. This is necessary and is apart of the revealing of what the story has been building up to.
8. Bertha Mason is the female lead character. She is strong, assertive, intelligent, and bold. She is beautiful and has a vibrant personality. She is a person people notice. She is the opposite, because of her language and behavior, in how many of the women are portrayed in l9th century literature. Her character is more of a contemporary written figure. However, her character is a solid balance for the whole of the story. She is certainly intriguing.

Themes in John Eyre: honesty, loyalty, jealousy, obsession, courage, bravery, kindness, heroism, innocence, fear, good and evil, deception, romance, empowerment, hope, and charity.


3 thoughts on “[Review] John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

  1. A male Jane Eyre! The author was pretty creative in coming up with this idea for a book. I’m glad you enjoyed it and will probably read it also. Thanks for your review.

    Liked by 1 person

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