Thornfield Hall by Jane Stubbs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Rochesters are very good at keeping secrets...
Thornfield Hall, 1821. Alice Fairfax takes up her role as housekeeper of the estate. But when Mr Rochester presents her with a woman who is to be hidden on the third floor, she finds herself responsible for much more than the house.
This is the story Jane Eyre never knew - a narrative played out on the third floor and beneath the stairs, as the servants kept their master's secret safe and sound.
This book was unsolicited and historic fiction is not something I choose to read. I passed this one to my mum to read as she loves historical fiction. Here is her review:
Thornfield Hall magically transported me back not only to the period of 1821 and all the quintessentially Englishness of this Victorian period but back to my school days when I was forced to read that wonderful classic Jane Eyre. I am so glad that I was made to read this incredibly beautiful book at school and even more pleased that I was asked to review this novel of Jane Stubbs telling the story behind Jane Eyre from the servants below stairs.
I never thought that Jane Eyre could be enhanced or indeed needed enhancing but having read Thornfield Hall I realised how much more rounded the original book became for me because of this novel. Jane Stubbs managed to retain all the magic and mystery of the original book as if she were Charlotte Bronte herself. She understood the characters so well and seemed able to really capture the essence of the book, it was beautifully written with great imagery connecting the reader to the familiar language and landscape of the rugged Yorkshire countryside and the hardships of living below stairs during this Victorian era.
Those of you who have read Jane Eyre will know the story so there are no 'spoilers' here, those of you who have not read the original will certainly want to read it I am sure after reading Thornfield Hall.
Jane Stubbs managed to preserve the integrity of the original book and yet create an outstandingly convincing take of the same novel from the perspective of the servants who were the hidden heart of the household, keeping the estates and grand houses running and sharing hardships and secrets below stairs. I loved the way Stubbs moulded the characters and developed their personalities, introducing new characters who were just as convincing as the originals and the twist she gave to the end of the story, believable and completely in keeping with the original novel.
If you, like me, loved Jane Eyre then you have to read this book, its' enchanting, beautifully written and well worth the 5 stars I have given it. If you haven't read Jane Eyre then you need to if only to appreciate the mastery of Jane Stubbs Thornfield Hall.
Loved it, absolutely loved it. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this, in exchange for an honest review.
My mum enjoyed this book so much she is passing it to her friend to read. She highly recommends it. This is due out tomorrow and should be part of your Christmas wish list!