I was fortunate to be given a copy of ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’, book one in the ‘Eyre Hall Trilogy’, by the author, Luccia Gray, in return for an honest review. All Hallows at Eyre Hall is available to buy here in the UK and here in the US.
The novel is a sequel to Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ set some 23 years after the end of the original text as Edward Rochester is approaching death. It is written to explore and develop what might have been the real events and personalities behind the Bronte work.
Initially I found the multiple first person perspectives slightly confusing but as soon as I adjusted to the rhythms of the narrative I found they added depth and perspective so that I had a much fuller understanding of the motivations of the characters.
The characters themselves are skilfully drawn so that lovers of the original text can find echoes of them. However, they are developed fully – sometimes in surprising ways – so that ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’ is so much more than a mere follow up. It works equally well as a stand alone novel. Some readers may find the human fallibility of their favourite characters difficult to accept but I thought these elements were really well presented so that I believed in them totally.
I like the way Luccia Gray uses an appropriate linguistic style so that the story feels like a natural progression and it fits the era of its setting. There are several references to writing, from real life famous authors, through Jane Eyre’s own writing, to homages to Emily Bronte as well as Charlotte that I found particularly interesting.
The element that works best of all is the cracking plot. Luccia Gray has constructed a fast paced story that certainly builds on elements from ‘Jane Eyre’, but that is exciting and engaging in its own right.
I’d defy lovers of the Brontes to read ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’and not appreciate what a well crafted and interesting read it is. I’m really looking forward to reading the second in the trilogy ‘Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall’ very soon.
I have a fascinating guest piece from Luccia Gray that you can read here