Review: ‘John Eyre’ by Mimi Matthews

About The Book

One of BookBub’s “25 of the Best Books Arriving in 2021”

From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s timeless classic.

Yorkshire, 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?

About Mimi Matthews

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020, and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, 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 retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House. To learn more, please visit

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘John felt as old as creation. Weary in body and soul.’

When I read a Mimi Matthews book, I am simply carried away by her words that just flow across the page so smoothly, gliding effortlessly along and completely captivated me until the book is finished.

This book, John Eyre, is quite different from her usual Victorian fare. Oh, it’s Victorian, but it’s dark and broodingly Gothic. Creepily good, I might add. Here, we have a twist of the Bronte story of Jane Eyre . A very good twist, might I add, too.

John Eyre arrives at Thornfield as a tutor to Mrs. Rochester’s two young wards. He immediately notices something quite strange about these boys. Soon after, he meets Mrs. Rochester and following an even stranger conversation with her, he is very mystified. Nothing is as it seems about this entire odd place. I found Bertha’s journal entries to be totally compelling.

‘Suddenly, he felt quite tempted to laugh-or possibly, to weep. Was it madness, what was happening to him?’

Matthews builds this story so well and adds layer after layer until the reader is completely all in. Actually, this reader was all in from the very first page. As time passes in the book, we begin to unravel the mystery a bit and are totally caught up in the drama, desperately riveted to each page. Her prose, in all her books, carries the reader along like water flowing downstream. Quite a compelling read and one I am glad to add to my collection. Well done indeed!

My thanks to Perfectly Proper Press for a copy of this book via the Net Galley platform. I was not expected to leave a positive review. The opinion here is expressly my own.

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Buy Link: John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow – Kindle edition by Matthews, Mimi. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @

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