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Interview: Upping the Stakes on 'Jane Eyre' in 'Within These Wicked Walls'

'When you find someone who understands what you were saying and can express it, that is so special.'
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  • Within These Wicked Walls
  • 'When you find someone who understands what you were saying and can express it, that is so special.'

Publisher's Summary

* Reese's Book Club Fall 2021 YA Pick *

"Lauren Blackwood’s can’t-miss debut is a magical, Ethiopian-inspired remix of Jane Eyre." (Harper's Bazaar)

What the heart desires, the house destroys....

Andromeda is a debtera — an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron — a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.

When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice.

But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because — heaven help her — she’s fallen for him.

Stunningly romantic, Lauren Blackwood's heartstopping debut, Within These Wicked Walls, ushers in an exciting new fantasy voice.

"An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." (Jordan Ifueko, New York Times best-selling author of Raybearer)

©2021 Lauren Blackwood (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Within These Wicked Walls

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This book is a must have!!

The book was beautifully crafted and the narrator gave it life. I will listen to this book again because of the small jewels in this book . I loved it like truly. I wish the author did a part 2 or has another book. I love this book !!!! Top 5

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Story and Performance

Great story for October! ♡ As I listened, I felt like I learned about what was going on, not only from the actual words, but also from context.
Great performance on the audio version! 🙌🏻

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Read this! What a great story and a great reader! I am so glad I gave it a chance.

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Amazing narration

The narrator was absolutely amazing. One of the best I’ve ever heard read. The story itself was really good too. I’m usually the fairies and kingdoms type of girl, but I took a chance on this book and I absolutely loved it. It worried me that it was set in a one house the whole story, I don’t usually like that type of thing, but this was so exceptionally written that I didn’t even think about it. Give this book a chance!!! I can’t wait for more!!!

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Audio Quality

Story was fun and engaging but the audio was terrible. So many popping noises in the background and the audio levels would randomly get quiet and then loud. It was so frustrating ha. I almost stopped listening

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  • CB
  • 12-22-21

When Ethiopian Jane Eyre meets the Evil Eye…

I don’t want to give too much away. This Ethiopian retelling of “Jane Eyre,” is deliciously paired with the text book gothic haunted house story. This novel was quick paced, and entertaining. I loved it in written and audible form! 10/10 recommend.

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Ummm ..

I really wanted to love this book; but I only liked it. The plot was good but it felt like pieces were missing in-between the story.
Maybe it's just me...

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Background noise

The narrator has a good voice, but there was a lot of background noise, clicking sounds. The story is excellent.

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Love this book!

Fabulous story! The narrator was absolutely perfect! Fantastic balance of love, faith, suspense and mystery. Treat yourself and listen to this gem!

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Not as grand as Jane Eyre, but interesting

I found the main character horribly grating at first because she's SO misanthropic, and also slightly ethnocentric. Both things make sense with the character's backstory, but that didn't make her any easier to listen to. I've never read anything with such a hateful protagonist, but I pushed past it and she did get better eventually.

Reimagining one of the greatest novels of all time is very bold, not least because you're inviting comparisons between your work and the original. This story didn't have the same degree of mystery, grandiose romance, or slow-burn intensity as Jane Eyre, so it doesn't really compare favorably to the original in my opinion. Granted, the original was arguably too slow, and there is romance in this one. It's not bad; worth a read just for the fun of hearing how the author decided to recreate different elements of Jane Eyre.

I have no criticism for the quality of the writing itself except that the author had the protagonist remind herself that she wasn't on the street anymore far too many times.

The narrator is a good actress, but she read descriptions of confrontations with demons with the same emotional intensity she gave to touring the house. Whenever she got to dialogue, I was always startled by the fact that she *could* emote well after all.

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  • Ms M Linnie
  • 11-10-21

A Terrifying story on the quest to true love.

Wonderful performance to invoke the imagination. Terrifying at parts but on the quest for true love which kept me hanging on until the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-21

suited for tweens not adults

I was enticed to buy this book because it is a Reece Witherspoon Bookclub selection. As I listened and became increasingly bored and annoyed by the predictable and over sentimental love story arc, I realised I am about 30yrs too old for this read. At 45 I don't find the "he loves me, he loves me not" whiplash emotions of tweens intriguing. The rest of the story which could have been interesting was overshadowed by the love story typical to a 16yr old girl's fantasy world. I eventually lost patience, got bored and stopped listening.

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  • Mrs P Collins
  • 10-28-21

Simply amazing

Fantastic book! Couldn’t put it away and finished within 2 days. Brilliantly read by Nneka with such animation to feel the tension, fear, passion and each character came to life.
Enjoyed it immensely.
Thank you

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  • Ogechi Anucha
  • 10-21-21

a great listen

I loved the narration, very engaging. I really enjoyed it! I think the story was well done and the romance believable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-22

Meh

This is the first book recommendation from Reeces Book Club that I bought, but i really didn't enjoy it. The story was so weak, it was primarily a sloppy love story with a sideline of demons. Way too much focus on the love story, and not nearly enough focus on the world in which demons play - that would have been way more interesting!