After 10 miserable and empty years of wandering the world, Edward Rochester comes back to England only to encounter Jane Eyre, the remarkable young woman whose fiery spirit at once captivates him, and he falls desperately in love with her. But Edward hides a terrible secret from his past, a secret which haunts his present, a secret which prevents his only desire: to have Jane for his wife. Will he risk everything, defy the Law, Society, even God, to have what he wants?
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The Master of Thornfield Hall is masterfully written
RQ Bell has traversed familiar landscapes with respect but not sycophantic devotion. The author takes the familiar and makes it warm. Rochester is the more tragic romantic hero and less the sarcastic, hard edged, bitter man than he is in Bronte's Jane Eyre. The reimagining of some of this characterization reduces some of the dramatic tension but makes Rochester more sympathetic. There is also less narrative claustrophobia, as the light is shining on the source of the moody darkness, and reader may feel less pulled into the confines of time and space than in the original work. The love story is less gothic and more understandable as one sees his nature in his relationships with the Carters, the Dents and sundry minor characters with whom he interacts. His traumatic past still propels the events which follow the original plot. It's no small feat to take a beloved work of fiction and create a new theme and variation worth crafting. RQ Bell's novel is eminently readable and is also enjoyable. I look forward to more from this author.