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Mr Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

Mr Rochester

by Sarah Shoemaker

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Edward Fairfax Rochester is the neglected younger son of an absent father and a dead mother. His brother, Rowland, is the one who is groomed to be the heir to the estate whilst Edward is destined to make his own way in business in the Caribbean. Proving adept at commerce Edward takes over his father's interests in Jamaica and comes into contact with the Mason family, neighbours and family friends. When Edward falls for the charms of Bertha and rapidly marries her he doesn't realise the legacy that he has inherited and how it will scar and shape his own life.

This is a fictional imagining of the life of Edward Rochester based on the hints contained within Jane Eyre. Shoemaker has stayed closely within the writing style of the 19th Century novel, first person and reflective, and the book works for that. Edward suffers loss at many stages and his later brusqueness is explained by the betrayals by his father. This is a readable and entertaining book - definitely far superior to most 'fan fiction'. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Dec 26, 2017 |
I’ve had this book sitting in my kindle for weeks now because I was waiting to read it and review close to the publication date. After all this time of anticipating Mr. Rochester, I am pleased to say that Sarah Shoemaker did an excellent job in presenting Mr. Rochester’s side of the story and in showing readers how he became to be the man portrayed in the story of Jane Eyre.

The story begins with the childhood of Edward Fairfax Rochester and his early days of life at Thornfield. Following his 8th birthday, Rochester is sent away to a small boarding school where he meets his closest childhood friends and from there Rochester is sent to be an apprentice at a manufacturing mill.

His father has plans for Edward’s life that he never reveals to Edward until the last minute. Edward unwittingly believes that going to Jamaica to handle his father’s business interests is the best thing to happen to him, when in reality, Jamaica is the place where he is most shockingly betrayed by the very people who should have had his best interests at heart.

Mr. Rochester is a novel full of wonderful and decent characters, but also full of deceit, betrayal and scandal. Edward reminded me somewhat of Job from the Bible because of all his suffering. After years of heartache, Edward became the man that we meet in the novel Jane Eyre.

I think it would be fun to read Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester simultaneously, or at least pick up at the point in each book where they first meet. Mr. Rochester would be a great pick for book clubs, as there are many themes presented in the book that would make for interesting discussion.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and had a difficult time putting it down each evening. I know there will be readers who are disappointed that Jane doesn’t appear on the scene until late in the book, but that didn’t bother me in the least because the events that came before Jane were so captivating.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for allowing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  tamidale | May 5, 2017 |
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On his eighth birthday, Edward is banished from his beloved home, Thornfield Hall, to learn his place in life. With the help of friends, enemies and a series of eccentric mentors, he discovers more than he might have wished about the ways of the men and women who will one day be his peers. Edward's journey takes him to the warm, languid shores of Jamaica, where he becomes entangled in the beguiling, unchecked lifestyle of the island, and with a certain enticing heiress. But the choices he makes there will haunt him desperately. It is only when he is finally able to return home, and encounters one stubborn, plain, young governess, that Edward can see any possibility of redemption and love.… (more)

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