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Publisher's Summary

"Reader, she married me."

For 170 years Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature's most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender - professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next - Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece. But his own story has never been told.

Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker's rich and vibrant imagination springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward's eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men - and women - who will someday be his peers.

But much as he longs to be accepted - and to return to the home where he was born - his father has made clear that Thornfield is reserved for his older brother, Rowland, and that Edward's inheritance lies instead on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica. That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and not long after his arrival, Edward finds himself entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town's ravishing heiress, Antoinetta Bertha Mason.

Eventually, after a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain young governess who will teach him how to love again.

It is impossible not to watch enthralled as this tender-hearted child grows into the tormented hero Brontë immortalized - and as Jane surprises them both by stealing his heart. Mr. Rochester is a great, sweeping classic coming-of-age story and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Brontë's original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we listen to and remember Jane Eyre.

©2017 Sarah Shoemaker (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Shoemaker's detailed writing will transport readers to a bygone age of romance and heartbreak." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A winner! Even if you never read Jane Eyre, you would still find Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester fascinating and hang on every word of his extraordinary story, told in perfect 19th-century language. A richly rewarding read." (Margaret George, New York Times best-selling author of Elizabeth I: A Novel and The Confessions of Young Nero)
"With flair and heart, Mr. Rochester tells the story that legions of Jane Eyre fans have been waiting more than a century to hear. Sarah Shoemaker's impressive novel takes readers into the mind of one of literature's most vexing and compelling romantic heroes and paints a nuanced portrait of a man torn between responsibility and passion. Packed with historical detail and a fresh look at a classic story, Mr. Rochester is a page-turning delight." (Tara Conklin, New York Times best-selling author of The House Girl)

What listeners say about Mr. Rochester

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost Great

I would have given it another star if it did not say the f word

9 people found this helpful

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Sadly disappointed

This was not as I’d hoped. It was not written in nor did it play up to the wittiness, humor, or undeniable love between Mr. Rochester and Jane. I find myself laughing many times at their conversations throughout Jane Eyre. Even more so I find myself so full of love, awe, despair, but I never felt that throughout this book. Instead I felt I was constantly waiting for more only to be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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Stick With It

If Jane hadn’t come into his life, Edward Fairfax Rochester’s life would have been miserable. If you can hold out for that, you will get rewarded with some answered questions, some resolved presumptions a few surprise twists which are all possible within Charlotte Bronte’s framework. And that is, finally, my real disappointment, that her pen didn’t give us the whole of it

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Prequel!

I first read Jane Eyre 50 years ago at the age of 10. I have since reread it many times, and watched every film version of the same title.
This is a most natural and thoughtful prequel written in a voice so very nearly the same as Jane’s original narration. I was immediately drawn in, and left any trepidation behind.
Thank you Sarah Shoemaker, and congratulations on a job well done!

2 people found this helpful

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Buy this audiobook NOW! :)

I delayed for a few years before buying this book only because I didn’t want it to disappoint me. Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite novel and having read it over 20 times, I feared ‘Mr. Rochester’ might tarnish the tale for me. To my great surprise and enjoyment, not only did it not diminish my love for the story and characters, but it has grown deeper. Sarah Shoemaker did a tremendous job of keeping the lead characters true to their original identities while filling in great gaps in Edward Rochester’s past. His loneliness and wandering spirit seeking love and connection are similar to Jane’s. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. My hat is off to Simon Shepherd for bringing his passion to Mr. Rochester. I can’t wait to listen to this book again!

2 people found this helpful

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Love hearing a different perspective

With so many Pride and Prejudice variations out there, it is great to have a little variety! I loved getting Rochester's perspective, though I must admit that I had a hard time hearing his voice at times. I missed his double meanings and sarcasm. the whole backstory was so beautifully woven. my biggest lament in the tale was Rochester's nephew, as I think that he took some of the gravity of Rochester's decision to propose away, giving him a moral out.
overall, I recommend this book, and would purchase another written by this author.

2 people found this helpful

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LOVE

what a brilliant narrator! I loved this story.. getting to know his experiences and how they shaped him in such quiet ways..the ending in love..the way he never lost ultimate faith in his value.. ah just.. LOVE!

1 person found this helpful

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GREAT JOB

I really enjoyed this book. Narrator was very good as well. The book is well written and has the perfect storyteller

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Nope.

I re-listened to Jane Eyre in preparation for this book. (Side note there is a version on here impeccably narrated by Thandiwe Newton that I highly recommend.)

The Rochester at the beginning of the novel doesn’t match the Rochester at the end of the novel and the Rochester at the end didn’t even somewhat resemble the Rochester from Jane Eyre. The beginning was good. I could see how the boy Rochester could have become the man from Jane Eyre. Then it got into the details that were supposed to connect it to the story in Jane Eyre and it lost me. There were changes that contradicted the original story, changed the personalities of characters, and some that seemed really unnecessary. I felt like they changed the tone and voice of the second half of the novel. It felt like the author was so caught up in changing what she felt was wrong in Jane Eyre that she lost Bronte’s voice. The end also felt very rushed to me but that might have been because by that point I was done. This is just my opinion. Take it or leave it at your own discretion.

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Mental Illness Warning

If you want to know Mr. Rochester’s origin and backstory then this is the book for you. I will say the depictions of Bertha going mad should come with a warning, it’s very unpleasant and may be a trigger for those sensitive to mental health issues. Also there’s some language in the book I found unpleasant as well. This novel made me dislike Mr. Rochester and from the outside looking in he’s selfish, uncouth and plays mind games with Jane. I’m being generous with the four stars, overall the story was very well written and shows Rochester as the man one would think him to be from his side of the story. The best part of the book is the last ten minutes or so. The author wrote the book well though.