Catherine by April Lindner
Publication: January 2, 2013 (Poppy)
Source: ARC from the publisher
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 was on my radar from the moment I read the synopsis, but I'm of two minds after finishing it. On one hand, since I knew it was a modern day re-telling of Wuthering Heights, I expected it to be tragic, but I found so little hope within the pages that I was left bereft as I read the final pages. April Lindner has a genuinely clear writing style that I enjoyed, but there were very few uplifting moments in this romantic tragedy. That, along with a few other quibbles I had, made it an overall enjoyable read, but one that could have used a dose of hope.
I should state that I haven't read Wuthering Heights; while I've always wanted to, I haven't made time. After reading Catherine, I'm really curious to do so though, to examine the similarities and the differences, as well. I think for the most part, Lindner created individualized, interesting characters, but a few, like Quentin, suffered from stereotypes, and their flaws felt poorly handled. Issues were brushed off in order to focus on the star-crossed romance between Catherine and Hence, which, although it was intensely passionate, was also not as believable as I'd hoped. Miscommunications and distrust between the two that should have been solved instead escalated the story, and the stakes. Both characters were deeply flawed, and made poor decisions.
Catherine has nice pacing, and the tension in the first half of the book is built nicely, although it suffers in the last third of the book, with a rushed climax. I found myself caring more about Chelsea than about Catherine, and wish Lindner had devoted another few chapters toward the end to Chelsea - she felt less like a valid character and more like a device used to tell her mother's story. Overall, this is a somewhat satisfying modern day Gothic.
Other books by this author:
You're sure to fall for:
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Visit April at: her website | her blog