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New Release Review! MRS. ROCHESTER’S GHOST by Lindsay Marcott

In case you missed it, there’s a guest post from Ms Marcott, an excerpt from the book, and a giveaway to enter here!

mrs rochester's ghost cover

Title: Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost
Author: Lindsay Marcott
Release Date: August 1, 2021
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationship, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal—a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts.

But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing close to his daughter.

And yet her deepening feelings for Evan can’t disguise dark suspicions aroused when a ghostly presence repeatedly appears in the night’s mist and fog. Jane embarks on an intense search for answers and uncovers evidence that soon puts Evan’s innocence into question. She’s determined to discover what really happened that fateful night, but what will the truth cost her?

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I first read Jane Eyre in high school; honestly, it was the only bright spot in Regents English that year (barely an exaggeration–I still maintain that I became an English teacher despite that teacher; honestly, she was awful. Just thinking about her today still makes me rather rage-y). Reading Jane Eyre led to reading Wuthering Heights , which led to reading Pride and Prejudice , and really, the rest is history.

I re-read Jane as an adult, and was straight-up shocked to discover I’d completely forgotten about, oh, about half of the book–everything that happens after Jane leaves Rochester until the part just before the “Reader, I married him,” line. All of that stuff she does in between? Blocked it out. And TBH, upon re-reading, I fully understood why I did. Jane’s personal growth was lovely and all, but I wanted that portion to be a lot shorter. Even though Mr. Rochester is a somewhat problematic hero, I still wanted Jane to get to her HEA sooner rather than later without quite all of the (kind of aimless) wandering around in between.

I got my wish in Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost!

Lindsay Marcott‘s refashioning of the story gives Jane a mystery to solve–did Evan Rochester kill his wife?–and though she does start investigating almost from the time she arrives at his estate, it isn’t until she leaves him that her investigation really ratchets up. In true mystery/thriller fashion, resolving the mystery happens rather quickly–far less wandering around the countryside for this Jane!–and we get to our HEA without Jane almost getting engaged to any distant cousins (thank goodness, because, yikes).

As with any good retelling, I had a lot of fun seeing the tweaks that Ms Marcott made to the original, making this version of Jane and Rochester’s story her own. That little a-ha! moment when you make the connection between what that Jane did/has happen to her and what this Jane does/has happen always gives me a little thrill. Like the best retellings, there were many clever twists and conversions here, and I really enjoyed reading this version of the classic story.

Is there really a Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost haunting the grounds of Evan Rochester’s estate? You’ll have to read it yourself and find out, because I’m not going to tell you! Don’t worry, though–even if you haven’t read (or even-gasp!–did but didn’t like) the original, this is definitely a strong enough story to stand on its own. I’ll be keeping an eye on this author to see what she has in store for us next.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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