by Caitlin Greer
Plot Summary:When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them seem to surround his employer’s daughter.
Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.
Review:I'm always excited to read Jane Eyre derived fiction. Always! And what's really interesting here is the gender role reversal in Evan Richardson being the orphan and the one being paid the salary. But it's clever because power dynamics shift a lot between Ginny and Evan. And because this is from Evan's point of view, the story seemed much more gritty and realistic than I think it would have been had it been from Ginny's point of view, which gave an interesting perspective on the subservient position Evan found himself in. When it comes to the romance in this story, I felt like it was a bit of a let down. The emotional connection that grew between them was often sidelined by flirting and sex scenes which started to get repetitive. I wanted to read about them getting to know each other more.
The mystery was very much unpredicatable for me - even when I was already thinking it would be along the lines of Jane Eyre! I loved that aspect, and the paranormal sort of things that kept happened made me wonder if this story might take an entirely new direction. The characters were the main focus of the story though, and the minor characters and the subplot with Ginny's father showed more about Ginny than I felt she showed herself. It was difficult to get to know her and really feel emotionally invested in her. I liked that Ginny fought so hard to keep her secrets, but in the end I wondered why she was so set on keeping them, when things were actually revealed. Her character was sadly not very clear to me.
I liked Evan's down-to-earth, hardened, sensible voice and the way the South was depicted (though I have never been there, it sounded so very appealing) and the ingenuity in the story telling provided some twists and turns I definitely was not expecting. Although the romance let me down, I think this is a very intelligent reworking of Jane Eyre with more than a few surprises, and great for fans of the New Adult genre.
I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.
Third book of 20 in the Books of Eyre Reading Challenge