Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Review: Catherine

CatherineAuthor: April Linder
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Publisher: Poppy

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
“One of the most annoying things about living above a nightclub – and believe me, there are plenty – is the musicians who are always coming around trying to introduce themselves to my dad, hoping to convince him to put them on the bill. It’s a waste of time, of course; Dad books his acts a year in advance, and he knows exactly who he will and won’t let play in the club. A band not only has to be great, it has to be on its way up, about to go national. ‘The Underground has to stay relevant. We’re more than a place to hear music. We’re tastemakers.’” – ARC Copy pg. 18

“He was right. Suddenly it all made sense: why the very sight of me seemed to make Hence angry. Before tonight I would have guessed that Hence hadn’t completely gotten over my mother. But now I knew it was more than that: He was positively obsessed with her. Even if he did have a girlfriend, he certainly couldn’t bring her to his bedroom, where she would be faced with his shrine to Catherine Eversole Price. How had he even gotten that copy of her wedding photo? Had she sent it to him to make him jealous? And why had she married my father if she still cared enough about Hence to bother? I was so preoccupied I barely heard what Cooper said next.” – ARC Copy pg. 96

“Had the marriage been rocky? I suppose it must have been, given that my mother was in love with another man. Still, my dad didn’t have it in him to hurt anyone, much less kill them. ‘If he finds a stinkbug in the bathroom, he carries it out the front door.’” – ARC Copy pg. 115 & 116

“Before I could think it through any harder, I hurried back to the apartment, grabbed my duffel, and headed off to Penn Station to catch the next train. That was too easy, I wrote in my journal. Shouldn’t it be harder to lie to the person you love? My hands were shaking, and not just because of the moving train. But I’m not doing anything wrong. Not really.” – ARC Copy pg. 162

This novel by April Lindner was written, of course, as an adaptation to Wuthering Heights which I am sure most of you already know. Let me first say that I have not read Wuthering Heights so I cannot make any comparison between this book and that one. I can say that I do know the gist of that story and this one is very well written. When attempting to retell a classic into a modern adaptation, any author is taking a huge risk. So many toes that they could step on and so many people that could dislike the more modern version of the story. However, Lindner holds true to the basic storyline, but adds some very small, but powerful details and some stunning characters. Chelsea is on a quest for her mother Catherine, who many believe to be dead but Chelsea feels that her mother is still alive and will stop at nothing to find her.

This story is told in shifting view points between Chelsea and her mother, Catherine, when she was Chelsea’s age. This was a great segue into the minds of both characters and what I loved even more about it was that they are the same age as we process what is happening in their lives. Chelsea’s mom is around seventeen in the chapters that we read about her and the similarities that can be connected between she and Chelsea are remarkable. I honestly liked following Chelsea better, not saying that Catherine’s chapters weren’t interesting, I was just ready to get to the bottom of the mystery that Chelsea was trying to solve. Chelsea’s chapters were more suspenseful while Catherine’s chapters were just filling us in on her life as a club owner’s daughters and her love interest, Hence.

Hence was the common factor binding both perspectives from Catherine and Chelsea. He was very much a real part of both of their lives and I found that so incredibly amazing. Hence was of course bitter and older by the time Chelsea meets him, but from Catherine’s perspective we see a carefree, young musician who is very much smitten with Catherine and who Catherine returns all the same feelings for. Hence was not very likeable within Chelsea’s chapters but readers understand that this is because of her deep connection and physical similarities to Catherine. Catherine is missing in Chelsea’s eyes and dead in Hence’s. Hence is just an old fool still in love if you ask me. I have read quite a few reviews where some have said that they just absolutely did not like Hence, but you have to take into consideration the factors that have made Hence feel the way he does. I like his place in the story and he is also the binding agent for Chelsea and Catherine! We English majors tend to get excited over literary elements like this one!

I would probably enjoy this book even more if I had read Wuthering Heights and had something to connect it with, but I still loved it and I thought it was an exceptional story line with just enough suspense and just enough romance!

***A huge thank you to the publishers at Poppy for providing me with an ARC Copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review***



  1. I am SO excited for this book! Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite classics and when I saw a retelling was coming out, I got WAY too excited, haha. But I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Great review :)

    -Jessica (Peace Love Books)

  2. I did enjoy this book but for me I wanted more of Catherine's chapters, I felt like Chelsea's take was disrupting from the actual story. The one thing that really got me was the ending, I really didn't want what happened to actually come about and I was shocked when Lindner took it in that direction. But overall this was a pretty good retelling.