Mr. Rochester

Mr. Rochester

Book - 2017
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"Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward's eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men-and women-who will someday be his peers. But much as he longs to be accepted-and to return to the home where he was born-his father has made clear that Thornfield is reserved for his older brother, Rowland, and that Edward's inheritance lies instead on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica. That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and not long after his arrival, Edward finds himself entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town's ravishing heiress, Antoinetta Bertha Mason. Eventually, after a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain, young governess who will teach him how to love again. It is impossible not to watch enthralled as this tender-hearted child grows into the tormented hero Brontë immortalized-and as Jane surprises them both by stealing his heart."--
Publisher: New York :, Grand Central Publishing,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781455569809
Branch Call Number: FICTION SHO
Characteristics: 453 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Brontë, Charlotte 1816-1855
Alternative Title: Mister Rochester

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ArapahoeKati Jul 16, 2018

The "Jane Eyre" fangirl in me devoured this novel, especially the audio version, because the character of Rochester is enigmatic, complex and often misunderstood (or hard to understand!).

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Brontina66
Jun 24, 2018

Being a Bronte fan, I was very intrigued by this book. I was a bit wary at the beginning, because prequels and sequels to Bronte novels are often rather bad; however, in this case, I was not disappointed. The novel gives a comprehensive and plausible story of Rochester's life before he meets Jane Eyre and ends shortly after Thornfield's fire. Young Edward loses his mother very early in his life and leaves his ancestral home when he is only 8 years old. After spending some time in a private school with few other students, two of whom become his closest friends, he is then sent to work at a mill in order to learn how to conduct business. Although very rarely physically present, Edward's father, the older Rochester, is the power behind the scene for most of the story. He decides that Rowland, the elder brother, will inherit most of the property but he still wants Edward to be comfortable. So he takes care of his younger son's education - but not inclinations or feelings - and in the end, although he provides him with a good position, he doesn't hesitate to sacrifice him in order to save Rowland. If you have read "Jane Eyre," you know that going to Jamaica will change Edward's life forever; if you haven't, I will not spoil your surprise. Overall, I enjoyed reading "Mr. Rochester" : the story is well-researched, the characters more or less plausible, we cannot help feeling compassion for Edward and the sad predicament where his father's narrow mindedness puts him. I was curious about the part where he talks about meeting Jane and deciding to marry her, and perhaps that was not too impressive. The story of the earlier years was for me better written and more interesting, while the later part is more or less predictable once you know Charlotte Bronte's novel. I found this book good and I definitely recommend it.

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MiRiAm12345
Nov 14, 2017

Too many modern authors have used classics like the Austen books and Jane Eyre as springboards for their own fiction- to ill effect. Ms. Shoemaker in "Mr. Rochester" has done it very well. This was a book not to put down. I am sure I must have read Jane Eyre annually since first reading it in grade 7, so I am a big fan. It was really enjoyable having Jane only appear in the second part of the book and as a secondary character while Mr. Rochester's own story is fleshed out. We may have felt some compassion for him while reading Jane Eyre, but in this book, he is thoroughly likable.
My only disappointment, this seems to be the author's only published work.

GCPL_Angela Aug 08, 2017

The author certainly had a challenging task in front of her with this one: Jane Eyre being, of course, among the most beloved novels of all time. It is one of my all-time favorites, and I've read it enough times to know it very, very well, as I'm sure will be the case for most readers of Mr. Rochester. Each of those readers is likely bringing their own interpretation of this character with them when they sit down with this book, and that can be a recipe for disappointment if the story you are presented with doesn't match your own take on the character.

For me personally, this version of Rochester is a little too nice, a little less complicated and problematic than Bronte's presentation. The young Rochester's tale largely parallels Jane -- a lonely (if not loveless) upbringing away from family, largely buffeted about by larger forces. I would have liked to have seen more passion and agency from the character; even when Jane was powerless to exact any real control over her larger situation, she was always fiery, defiant, and independent. Mr. Rochester, by contrast, kind of comes off here as a bit of a sad sack -- yes, he's trying to be a dutiful son and believes (to his doom) that his father has his best interests at heart, but I would have liked to have seen more of Jane's spirit in him. After all, they are supposed to be very alike in many ways.

Parts of this telling of Rochester's side of the story come off as very apologist in a way that isn't entirely convincing for me. Poor excuses abound. And while I enjoyed this take on the character overall, I think I would've preferred a more nuanced examination of a very complicated (and indeed, problematic) leading man. I think a lot of Rochester's darkness is glossed over here; the fact is, much of his behavior in Jane Eyre is downright bizarre. I would've loved more acknowledgment of that.

I do recommend this book for any fans of Jane Eyre, and I do think that the author does a good job here, even if this Rochester isn't quite my Rochester. There's a good chance this Rochester will not match up with your own personal interpretation, either, but it will get you thinking again about Bronte's wonderful story, and how those characters continue to fascinate and resonate with us even now.

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samrouthier
Jun 29, 2017

samrouthier thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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