Don't read this if you don't know the ending of Jane Eyre.
So I heard about this book right after I finished Jane Eyre and I was really excited about it. As I heard, it was the story of Jane Eyre, but from the crazy Mrs. Rochester's perspective. And I LOVED Jane Eyre, so I was excited to read something from the other side. Obviously it's not a Bronte original, so it's not as if I expected it to just sweep me away, but I thought it would be good.
Not so much. Only the last like 15 pages of the book are set in England, at Thornfield. The rest is all about her growing up in the West Indies, and Mr. Rochester coming, and them getting married. Some of it is from his perspective, like him finding out from a guy in the town how her mom went nuts, etc. etc.
Some of the language and the descriptions of where they live are really beautiful, but a lot of it is just . . . I don't know. It's like it's trying too hard, maybe? That sounds mean, but that was what I thought.
And parts of it are kind of cool, like when she is little someone sets their house on fire in the middle of the night, and that really had a huge effect on her (obviously), so it was sort of a cool tie in to the ending of Jane Eyre, but also sort of not. It reminded me a little bit of a movie that is set in another time period and then they just happen to befriend Benjamin Franklin or Einstein or Rosa Parks--you know what I mean? Like it's sort of a cheap shot to bring in something you already know about to make the story seem more awesome.
It's pretty meh. I wouldn't really recommend it. The good thing though, is that it's short. It's like 190 pages of big print, it was practically like reading a Babysitter's Club book. It took me two lunch breaks. So it wasn't a huge investment of my time, so I didn't really mind that it wasn't awesome.
So yeah. I am definitely not saying, "Go out and read it!" But I'm also not saying you should avoid it like the plague. If for some reason a time comes in your life where someone puts this book in your hands, and you have nothing else good to read, go for it. Then tell me if you liked it or not, because I was obviously not very impressed.