- Page Count: 320
- Release Date: January 2, 2013
- My Rating: 2 stars
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.
Ehhh this modern retelling of Wuthering Heights really didn’t work for me. I tried to cut it some slack because doing an adaptation of any Bronte novel seems super tough, but even then it was rough.
The author’s note in the back talked about how she wanted to find a modern environment that was harsh & cruel like the original windswept English moors so the characters could reflect that. She chose Manhattan’s Lower East Side (which is just not my scene). Heathcliff is a hot-tempered aspiring punk rocker and Catherine is the spoiled daughter of the nightclub owner.
I appreciated that the story did the whole multi-generational thing and fit in Catherine’s daughter Chelsea trying to work out her mother’s mysterious disappearance. And of course one of the characters was reading Wuthering Heights to properly reference key scenes.
The writing wasn’t bad, but it’s hard to see favorite characters turned into ones I really can’t stand. And it’s painful to see one of my absolute favorite settings get transformed into something that makes me cringe.
It totally feels unfair to judge this author against someone like Emily Bronte, but the stories obviously are going to be contrasted while you’re reading this book. So my basic thoughts were that the characters felt kind of underdeveloped and bland. I didn’t care much about the romance. And there wasn’t the same grand scope or intensity to everything. It was just seriously underwhelming. And I can’t judge this story separately from the original source material because it’s a very obvious retelling…
So I think this was an ambitious undertaking at the very least and the author clearly knows her Bronte! I’m checking out her Jane Eyre retelling next because I’ve heard good things.