All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray: A Review

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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 colorless 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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15 thoughts on “All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray: A Review

  1. Thank you for such a wonderful review! I’m really flattered that you liked it, and your opinion is especially significant to me because you’re the only person who has read it (to my knowledge) and did not love the original characters in Jane Eyre. I was worried about offending staunch fans of the original, but I’m glad that someone who was not enthusiastic about Bronte’s Jane Eyre, is pleased with how the characters have developed in my novel.
    I have great admiration for the original novel, although I was always very critical of Rochester (I didn’t make him villainous, he already was…) and I thought Jane was a naive young girl with a great potential to develop into a strong character, which is what I’ve tried to do. I’ve portrayed a mature, determined, and socially conscious, adult Jane, however, she is also human, and she makes mistakes. As you have pointed out, she might have fallen in love with the wrong man, yet again… or perhaps not…

    • Your book deserved a great review! I’m glad I didn’t disappoint. It was hard not to give too much away, a difficult thing to do with all mysteries (which this is because the readers is asking questions all the way through)!

  2. Reblogged this on Rereading Jane Eyre and commented:
    I have been complimented with another favorable review of my novel by fellow writer, Noelle Granger, which I would like to share with you all. It’s great to get positive reviews, but especially motivating when they come from other authors. Noelle has an inspiring blog called ‘SaylingAway’, which I hope you’ll all check out, too!

  3. Definitely sounds like a book that I should dig out. I have to admit that I rather liked the original, I felt that Jane went back on her own terms and made the decision for herself.

      • Opinion is opinion. We all take to people differently. In general I love strong females, but in the classics I admire anyone who portrays a female who defies social expectations of a woman.

  4. I agree, I dislike the ‘sequel written but the unoriginal author’. The once exception being PD James’s ‘Death at Pemberley’. This sounds interesting though, and I am a fan of Jane Eyre. SD

    • I am a huge fan of P D James but didn’t at all like Death at Pemberley. Gave up reading it about 1/3 through. I guess I am guilty of see Dame James in her usual mystery mode.

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