Book Review: “Catherine” by April Lindner

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Catherine by April Lindner

Source: Library

Publisher: Poppy

Year: 2013

Rating: 9.5 (out of 10)

 

 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.

 
Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.com
 

Like Jane, this new volume from April Lindner is full of intrigue, mystery and romance. Her stunning prose easily transports you into the world of post-post punk era New York City. Instead of the Moors of Yorkshire, the places where the protagonists Catherine and Hence meet are equally as beautiful, even in their quiet simplicity.

The voice of Catherine herself is assured, meaningful, and trustworthy, as if nothing she did had an ulterior motive other than being true to herself. Hence’s dark, brooding character is more relatable than Bronte’s Heathcliff, and he and Catherine fit together perfectly in a jigsaw puzzle way. Told by two different narrators, that of Catherine and her daughter Chelsea, the way the story unfolded with these dual narrations built the tension without jumping too much forward like the furious pacing of James Patterson. I did feel however, that the tragic, desperate love of Heathcliff and Catherine was toned down in Catherine, but thankfully left out the creepiness of the original Heathcliff character.

 

 

Ms. Lindner’s last novel, Jane, introduced readers to her unorthodox way of re-imagining Jane Eyre. It was met with rave reviews, but with Catherine out on shelves now, I believe Catherine could surpass the already-high bar that Ms. Lindner set with Jane.

Catherine did its job. It’s gripping from the first chapter, has a killer cover, and built the characters and plot in a satisfactory way that haunted me from its matter-of-fact opening to its stunning, ghost-ridden conclusion.  

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