cover image Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost

Lindsay Marcott. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (398p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2638-3

When Jane, the narrator of this clever, lively update of Jane Eyre from Marcott (The Producer’s Daughter), loses her job writing for a small cable network show and otherwise finds her life falling apart in Brooklyn, she seizes the opportunity to tutor the teenage daughter of widowed tech entrepreneur Evan Rochester at Thorn Bluffs, his estate in Big Sur, Calif. Despite rumors that Evan murdered his wife, Beatrice, who he claims drowned, Jane is drawn to her smart, enigmatic employer. As Jane seeks the truth about what happened between Evan and Beatrice, she must also deal with a ghostly figure stalking Thorn Bluffs. Frequent references to art history—a Modigliani painting plays a crucial role in the action—elevate this above garden-variety romantic thrillers. At times, though, the narrative voice strains for effect (“My eyes a lucid shade of gray that tends to blab everything I’m feeling”), and the gothic plot builds to an ending that some readers may find a tad sappy. This twisty tale of madness and desire should satisfy most Charlotte Brontë fans. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary. (July)