Rochester: A Memoir by Cora Holmes #Review

Posted October 7, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

I received this book for free from Book Tour Provided in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rochester: A Memoir by Cora Holmes #Review
Rochester: A Memoir

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Small Publisher
Released on March 21, 2016
Pages: 273
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour Provided

Get it at: add to goodreads

Jane Eyre has long been a favorite story since I read it as a ten year old girl.  I wanted to be Jane Eyre and I had a crush on the dark, broody Mr. Rochester who becomes known to the reader through Jane’s eyes.  That crush is still with me nearly forty years later.  I discovered this book and had to have it when I saw it was the story of Jane Eyre retold in a companion novel from Edward Rochester’s first person perspective.  My emotions were in his grip from page one and I laughed and cried and yes, sighed, through to the end.  The author struck a good balance between Rochester’s earthy, lusty nature that is blackened by his experiences until he encounters an innocent woman full of light.

Because of the way this is written as a companion story, it is best that the reader be familiar with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre either through the book or one of the movie adaptions.

The story opens with Edward Rochester returning home to Thornfield Hall because of complications with his mad wife whom he has hidden in a secret attic room.  His gloomy home is not as he left it.  His ward’s new governess captures his attention from the beginning.  Miss Eyre is ethereal and then he sees that she is innocent and pure having never been out into the world or experienced much of life.  Or so he thinks until he learns that here, too, is one who suffered at the hands of her nearest relations and then a hard life in a school.  Her intelligence, inner serenity, and strong convictions call to him.  He knows he shouldn’t have her and should leave her be, but his heart burns for her.

Rochester has a scare when his crazed wife gets out and almost kills him.  She could have harmed Jane Eyre.  He determines to go away for everyone’s safety, but he doesn’t get far and learns that he cannot part from Jane Eyre.  An elaborate scheme is made utilizing the upper class who return with him for a house party.  He must make Jane need him as he needs her.  He will defy the law and everyone to have her if only he can break past her strong will for what she considers right.

I was amazed as I read this story.  The author wrote a character that I had no trouble believing was the Rochester of Bronte’s tale.  He is unapologetically himself- flaws, black moods, desires, and all.  But shining through is that amazing love that tied this pair of doomed lovers together.

The author wrote the scenes away from Jane Eyre so that I was as riveted by the other events as the actual love affair.  The original characters like Edward’s lifetime friend, Carter, his land agent with his own secrets, and the expansion of the minor characters like all in his household and neighborhood was a huge draw.  The history she gave Edward with the Mason family of Jamaica was hellish and rang true even if Bronte never wrote such depravity that those insane people committed.  And the hatred that Edward’s own family felt for him was intense.  My only niggle in this story was that I thought there was a hint as to the why Edward was hated by father and older brother, but it was never clearly stated so I can still only surmise.

In summary, this was impressive and I would highly recommend it to all who love the story of Jane Eyre and want to read it from Rochester’s perspective.  It is slightly spicy and darker than the original.

My thanks to Book Review Buzz for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #286 HR
New to Me #115 author
Blogger Shame #40

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I didn’t have the chance to read Jane Eyre. I heard a lot about the books but that’s true that I haven’t tried. I should one day because I miss all the comparisons and retellings.

    • There area a few classics that I still want to read or at least see the movie adaption so I can get the story. Hope you get the chance to read Jane Eyre soon, Melliane. 🙂

  • I never read Jane Eyre but thats awesome that you finally found a book that told the story from his sort of perspective!

    • I was always curious about the scenes away from her or what he was really thinking so it was fun to discover this one.

  • How very fascinating this is from his perspective! I’m glad to see you enjoyed so much. I might have to take a closer look at this one. 🙂

    • That’s what I thought, too, Grace. My curiosity and love of Jane Eyre combined to make it a must read. 🙂

  • This sounds delightful, Sophia! Mr. Rochester’s dark bloodiness is a thing to behold, and I bet it was interesting to see things through his eyes. Great review!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • I was amazed and had the urge to read Jane Eyre all over again. Thanks, Lexxie!

      • LOL, I just saw that my autocorrect in my above comment made Mr. Rochester bloody rather than broody 😀

        • LOL! Yes, I thought that’s what you meant. I’ve had some embarrassing moments with autocorrect.

  • Ooo I loved Jane Eyre so this is right up my alley. Wonderful review Sophia!

    • You bet! Always happy to point a book pal to one that they might love.

  • Ooohhh, I love Jane Eyre. This is an HR version, kind of? I am totally okay with this. 😀 I’ll have to check it out! Great review, Sophia. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yes, it’s historical romance, for sure. This is definitely one for Jane Eyre lovers, Alyssa. 🙂

  • I haven’t read jane Eyre myself, but I do know how some books just stay with you and just feel special for you. I am glad to hear this was a good book. It sounds interesting how this book is the jane Eyre story retold form the male point of view, I imagine you get to see a different side of the same story that way. And that sounds awesome how this author managed to write the character in such a way it feels like the same character as in the original tale!

    • Good way to describe this. I wasn’t that old when I first read Jane Eyre yet I remember so much because it got an emotional response. I had never thought to look for a book with a switch on the perspective so I could see the story from Rochester’s eyes, but it was great to see this one.

  • That’s a long relationship you’ve had with Jane Eyre. It’s amazing how many variations and inspirations have been taken from it.

    • Oh yes, one of my oldest book relationships. This was my first Jane Eyre inspiration and I loved it. I’ve had a few people recommend others so now I have a list.