ARC kindly provided by Luccia Gray in exchange for an honest review.
‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’ is a continuation of the beloved world of ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte. ‘Jane Eyre’ is my number one favourite classical novel that still leaves me enchanted and in awe every single time I read it. To take on the job of writing a sequel novel to the incredible ‘Jane Eyre’ is no easy task and one few have endeavoured to do. I have to give credit to the author, beforehand, and congratulate her on her novels publication! I REALLY can’t wait to delve deep into the world of ‘Jane Eyre’ once again! The title of the novel was also an interesting choice. ‘All Hallows’ in the 1800s is known as Halloween, today.
Straight away I was gripped by the strong imagery that Luccia Gray used to set the scene. Twenty-three years had passed since Jane’s and Edward’s marriage and Thornfield Hall had been rebuilt with a new hall – Eyre Hall – also built on the Thornfield Estate.
The novel itself is written in a multitude of character perspectives and first person narration. There are often two or three different perspectives in each chapter. I believe this did not draw away from the appeal of the novel; instead, I believe it ENHANCED the appeal. I loved that I could get inside the mind of so many characters and learn so much about their lives.
There is also a difference to the Jane Eyre we know in the novel ‘Jane Eyre’ and in ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’. Jane is more confident in this novel. She is less shy and secluded – introverted – and stronger in her opinions and her ability to express them. The author also describes her as more pretty and beautiful when writing from the perspective of her male characters. I found this pleasant but also strange and different from the Jane Eyre I was used to. Jane also has wavy auburn hair and green eyes in this novel instead of the mousy brown of Charlotte Bronte. It was surprising but I liked it. The rest of Jane’s appearance is the same: she is still petite, fragile-looking and elfish.
I loved how realistic and well-developed the characters were. They seemed to pop out straight from 19th century England! They all had background stories and interests. They had personality, character and depth. I really can’t give any harsh comments or criticisms of the author’s creation of the characters: they were just done so well!
I have to also warn you that Edward and Jane are painted in a harsher light by Luccia Gray when compared to Charlotte Bronte. There are numerous differences between ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’ and ‘Jane Eyre’ but this was one that stood out the most.
At one point during the novel, Jane has a conversation with Michael, her valet, about the novel she had written. Michael comments that, “I liked the way in which it was written, and the plot was cleverly disclosed. Anyone who starts reading will want to finish it, to know how it ends.” THAT is what I think of ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’! I LOVED that way it was written and I too thought the plot cleverly made new or secret information known. An I ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITLEY WANT TO KNOW HOW THE NOVEL ENDS!
I have to praise the author for her beautiful writing and storytelling; her majestic prose and the excellent grammar that I frequently saw whilst reading. I spotted only one typo but it did not take away from the author’s lovely writing.
The novel sometimes strayed from the very formal language used. At times some modern words could be found or the way a character expressed themselves very modern and contemporary. This was slightly unappealing as it took away from the beautiful effect of the 1800s English. I also noticed that towards the end of the novel, the author was more lax in her choice of words and that is where most of the changes to the vocabulary from old to modern happened.
This novel doesn’t live up to the standards of ‘Jane Eyre’ but it is a great novel in its own right. The author has done a marvellous job trying the recreate Charlotte Bronte’s world and I must praise her for that. The ending itself was quite melancholy and poignant; it suited the novel and it’s quite style.
Congratulations to Luccia Gray! I can’t wait to read the next novel…
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!