Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Publication Date: 1/2/13
Source: Received from publisher for review.
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.
This may surprise some (or most) of you who read my reviews on a regular basis...but Wuthering Heights is one of the great literary loves of my life. As a teen, I was obsessed with this book. I read it over and over again, much to my friends' confusion and my Literature teacher's delight. I even rented the movies repeatedly; the Laurence Olivier (that man could do crazed) and the Ralph Fiennes/Juliette Binoche version. Seriously, my teenage dramatic-self wanted a man to lose his mind over me, to walk the cliffs brooding for me. I wanted to be Catherine. Well, excerpt for the whole spoiled brat and dying bit. Like I said. Obsessed.
Having said that, I should also point out that I had unreasonably high expectations for Catherine, and I was wary. How many times have we all been burned by re-imaginings of favored classics? This book made me happy. As happy as a tragic, doomed love story can make anyone.
What made Catherine work, in my opinion, is that Lindner took the best parts of the original, and made them work for this story. You still have the story within a story, but this time it is Catherine's daughter Chelsea, searching for her long-missing mother, who discovers the story within her mother's journal. The story is told in alternating time periods: Chelsea in the present, Catherine twenty years prior. On her search for Catherine, she finds her mother's first love, Hence. In this version, Hence is an up-and-coming rockstar, and Catherine is other girl who loves him. This time, the two are a much easier to love pair. Hence is broody, and does become cruel at certain points, but he's not the sometimes-monster of the original. This Catherine was not awful at all! She is a teenage girl, hopelessly in love, who wants Hence as well as a life and career of her own. The circumstances that drive them apart were realistic to characters in their situation.
As far as Chelsea goes, there is much more to her story than her search for the truth. When she finds Hence, she also meets Coop, a young man who works for him. At first reluctant to get involved, Coop becomes Chelsea's best friend and asset on her journey. As she comes to revelations about her mother's life, she comes to some about her own as well.
Like I've already said, I am a huge nerd when it comes to Wuthering Heights. I could honestly sit here and break down the comparisons for hours. I went into this book worried, and came out a fan. Catherine was cleverly and beautifully told, and in my opinion, did the original story proud.
Nothing would keep me away from Hence now that I was sure he felt the same way about me that I did about him. Because I was sure. I lay on my bed a long while, replaying the events of that afternoon, remembering how we'd held each other in front of China Yearnings, how Hence had taken my face in his hands, and how, into the tent made by hair, he'd whispered that he had loved me almost from the moment we met. ~ eARC, 38%
"I know Hence can be...unpredictable. But I could never break up with him. There should be a word for something that's beyond love, something this strong." I closed my eyes. "It's like my heart is made out of Silly Putty and he can stretch it all out of shape just by saying my name..." ~ eARC, 72%
He leaned over again. This time I twisted in my seat to meet him halfway. He brushed back the hair that had fallen into my eyes. Before I could think of what to say or how to react, he was kissing me as though everything that had ever happened in our lives had led us to this moment. ~eARC, 85%
"You wanted to keep Catherine away from me? If there's anything beyond this life, you'll be sending me right into her arms." ~eARC, 91%
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