#CBR10Bingo: So shiny
This review will contain spoilers for Jane Eyre, but that book is more than 170 years old, and therefore, if you don’t know the gist of the plot already, that’s really not my fault.
In this slightly alternate universe, King George III of England was not actually mad, he just saw ghosts and could talk to them (making others believe he wasn’t quite right in the head). He founded a society “for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits”, led by none other than the Duke of Wellington himself. By the time of William IV, the Society was no longer receiving proper patronage from the king any longer, and they’re down to only a few trusted ghost hunters. Alexander Blackwood is Wellington’s trusty favourite, and when he’s not hunting down ghosts for the RWS, he’s trying to avenge his dead father.
While trying to relocate a ghost near Lowood School, Alexander comes into contact with two young ladies. One is the intriguing Jane Eyre, the other her friend Charlotte Brontë (who wishes to become an author, of course). Alexander discovers that Ms Eyre can see ghosts, and while the RWS in the past did not employ women, Wellington is getting desperate, and insists that Alexander recruit her into the Society post haste. Yet Jane Eyre is terrified that the Society will “relocate” her best friend and ghost companion, Helen Burns, so she wants nothing to do with Alexander. She is adamant that she wants to become a governess above all else. Charlotte cannot understand why her friend would give up a life of excitement and adventure, not to mention a very extravagant salary and tries to persuade Alexander to take her in Jane’s stead (her brother Bramwell is Alexander’s apprentice, after all).
Jane (and Helen) go off to Thornfield Hall (where very strange things are afoot), while Alexander and the two eldest Brontë siblings accompany him, trying to aid in recruiting Jane into the Society. While at Thornfield Hall, Alexander also begins to suspect that Mr. Rochester may in fact have something to with his father’s death. While Jane is strangely smitten with her broody new employer (and he with her), and soon (despite ghostly Helen’s warnings and misgivings, not to mention very much alive Charlotte’s), they are engaged to be married. The dramatic scene in the church, where it is revealed that Mrs Bertha Rochester isn’t dead at all, but has been locked in the attic for years, plays out rather differently here.
The final third of the novel, after the disastrous wedding, plays out rather differently than the source material. The true reason for Mr Rochester’s strange behaviour and his imprisonment of his wife is revealed, Alexander eventually discovers the true culprit behind his father’s murder, the Brontë siblings discover a new and benevolent relative and Jane (and Helen) look to get their own happy ending too.
Full review on my blog.