It’s barely been a minute since my last “tea and a book” post, but I just read a novel and need to tell you about it.
If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with the Brontë sisters, particularly Charlotte, and that Jane Eyre is on my top ten list of favorite books of all time. (Maybe top five, even?) I’ve enjoyed a few retellings or variations on the novel, including Wide Sargasso Sea (though it’s terribly sad) and Rebecca (though I despise the heroine). There are many other options out there, easily found through a quick google search.
These links are pretty good:
16 Jane Eyre re-tellings from Book Riot
Reader, I Married Him: Jane Eyre Re-tellings, from Westlake Porter Library
Brontë Addicts Will Absolutely LOVE These 7 Retellings of ‘Jane Eyre’, from Bookstr
And then I learned about this very recent release from Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint:
Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationship, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal—a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts.
But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing close to his daughter.
And yet her deepening feelings for Evan can’t disguise dark suspicions aroused when a ghostly presence repeatedly appears in the night’s mist and fog. Jane embarks on an intense search for answers and uncovers evidence that soon puts Evan’s innocence into question. She’s determined to discover what really happened that fateful night, but what will the truth cost her?
The premise seemed okay. Then I noted the starred review from Library Journal. Why not give it a try, I thought, especially with it being a Kindle Unlimited title? I downloaded it, started reading, and it was all I could think about until I finished it the next day. The heroine was fiercely independent and sympathetic, the hero appropriately dark and mysterious, and the story tracked the original pretty closely but with inventive little twists. It was good, dark, FUN. And sexy. However, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (as I learned from a quick look at Goodreads–yikes!). For those who prefer to avoid anything too dark or sexy, I would rate this book PG-13/R-ish for body horror and sexual content.
Now for tea:
This book gave me the perfect excuse to finally open my Brontë Sisters’ Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail’s Literary Tea Collection. The ingredients include black teas, papaya pieces, flavorings, raspberry pieces, alfalfa leaves and marigold petals. Sadly, I didn’t like it all that much. It was fine in its fruity way, but not something I would drink on the regular. To pair with it I made scones with King Arthur gluten-free scone mix and added fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of dried rose petals and Demerara sugar. The scones turned out quite well and made for a nice afternoon treat.
Stay tuned: later this month I’ll be sharing my favorite spooky novels published in 2021. You know me–just doing my part to get you in the proper state of mind for Halloween!