Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Christmas at Ferndean Manor by Joanna Campbell Slan


DNF @ 60%

I adored the first two books in this series. JANE EYRE is one of my favorite books and I've currently been snapping up as many of the retellings that I could find so I can read them and compare them... not so much in terms of how they compare to the original, but more as how they stand as individual artistic creations. In my not-so-humble opinion, the best retellings aren't carbon copies of their original source material, but instead place their own unique spin on a story to truly make it their own.

DEATH OF A SCHOOLGIRL and DEATH OF A DOWAGER were both so fun. One had a grim dark academia vibe that I absolutely loved, and the other was like a dark spin on comedy of manners, with everything from the cut sublime(!) to royal intrigue.

CHRISTMAS AT FERNDEAN MANOR was less entertaining. It literally starts out with Jane scurrying around in the woods, gathering nuts and berries like a squirrel. From there, it takes multiple detours, like conkers and the history of using them in games, Rochester being sad about having to sell his horse, and angst about Christmas because when Jane was a young orphan, she didn't really have one.

There's a Christmas special feel to this book, which I personally am not usually a fan of, since I don't like Christmas (bah, humbug). I kept thinking about that one Beauty and the Beast movie, Beauty and the Beast and the Enchanted Christmas. You know the one that kind of disrupted canon and made everything weird in its quest to show why Christmas is the Most Important Holiday to Ever Important?

I do think this author has a lot of talent and, like I said, I LOVED books one and two. I'm not sure if I'll check out the fourth one now. At least it has "death" in the title, unlike this one.

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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