Author: April Lindner
Release date: January 1, 2013
Reading level: YA
A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you've never seen it before.
Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad's famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?
Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years -- a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn't die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her -- starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.
Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.
Catherine, a modern day retelling of Wuthering Heights, is another fabulous novel from April Lindner. Her debut, Jane (a modern Jane Eyre), blew me away and while Catherine was not quite as good, I still greatly enjoyed it. In fact, I can't stop thinking about it.
I have never read Wuthering Heights and honestly, in this case, I think that was a good thing. I had no idea what was going to happen and Catherine ended up being a whole new story for me rather than a retelling. There were twists and turns that readers of the original may have been able to see coming but I certainly couldn't. While the story was definitely a contemporary story, there were quite a few hints of mystery and there was even a little bit of history. It all blended well together and made for a very interesting story and a quick read.
Catherine is the daughter of a wealthy club owner. She lives above the club and so she spends a lot of time in the music scene of the 80s and she gets to know some very different people. When Hence shows up on the front step, Catherine can't help but feel bad for him and ends up getting him a job at the club and a place to stay. From the very start the two are drawn to each other and a very intense romance develops and Catherine's story really tells all about that. Chelsea is Catherine's daughter and she has come looking for her mother who disappeared 14 years ago. She ends up at the club and there she finds some unexpected help from Cooper, a very shut-off Hence, and her mother's diary. As she gets to know Hence in present day she also gets to know him in the past through Catherine's journals. The journals also help Chelsea find out more about her family and what really happened to her mother.
The story alternates point-of-views and time periods. The point-of-views switch between Catherine and Chelsea and the time period switches from the 80s to present day. While this would seem confusing, it's actually not at all. Catherine and Chelsea are two very different people with distinct personalities and voices. You will never not know whose point-of-view you are reading. It was handled very well and I greatly enjoyed the alternating perspectives.
Overall, Catherine is a very complex, well thought out retelling of Wuthering Heights. I was invested in Catherine's and Chelsea's stories from the very beginning and this book put me through a ringer. Don't expect your traditional happy ending with this one but it will definitely leave you satisfied. April Lindner has made a fan of me.
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