Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story

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9780061239885: Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story

Adele, the daughter of a celebrated Parisian actress, is a homesick, forlorn eight-year-old when first brought to Thornfield Hall by Edward Fairfax Rochester, her mother's former lover. Lonely and ill at ease in the unfamiliar English countryside, she longs to return to the glitter of Paris . . . and to the mother who has been lost to her.

But a small ray of sunshine brightens her eternal gloom when a stranger arrives to care for her—a serious yet intensely loving young governess named Jane Eyre—even as young Adele's curiosity leads her deeper into the shadowy manor, toward the dark and terrible secret that is locked away in a high garret. . . .

Includes fascinating in-depth background material about Charlotte Brontë and the Jane Eyre legacy

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About the Author:

Emma Tennant was born in London and spent her childhood in Scotland. Her previous novels include The Bad Sister, Faustine, and Pemberley. She has three grown children and lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Seasoned sequel-writer Tennant (Pemberley; Sylvia and Ted; etc.) offers not so much a follow-up to Jane Eyre as a new perspective on its plot. She retells Bronte's romance from the perspective of the pampered but neglected Adele, Rochester's "ward" and Jane's pupil. Only eight years old when the novel opens, Adele is living blissfully in Paris with her mother, the celebrated trapeze artist and actress Celine Varens. Their cozy-if somewhat depraved-life is threatened by the sudden arrival of Rochester, an explosive alcoholic whispered to be her father. Rochester kills Celine's lover in a duel, then flees to England, while Celine flees to Italy, abandoning her daughter. Adele is sent to stay with Rochester at Thornfield Hall, where she is befriended by the witchy "etrangere" Antoinette (also known as Bertha). Soon Jane Eyre arrives, but the bratty Adele, still plotting the marriage of Maman and Papa, rejects her governess's "persistent banality." Adele's narration is an awkward attempt at Victorian prose ("That she had had affection for me, I cannot gainsay; but I had been for her a conduit to the greater profit of her master's love, and little more") sprinkled with occasional, mostly gratuitous French words ("I was dismissed without even trying on the robe of organdy"). But the real problem is Adele herself, whose haughtiness is merely unpleasant; she has none of the charm of Bronte's imp, let alone the charisma to anchor a whole book. Some diehard Jane Eyre fans may enjoy this variation, but purists are warned to stay away.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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