I loved April Lindner’s Jane, so I’ve been meaning to read her take on Wuthering Heights in Catherine. Chelsea has moved around a lot and has few friends. She has always been curious about her mother who she thought died when she was three. Her father would never talk about her. It made him too sad. She is a fan of Nico Rathburn who was a main character in Lindner’s retelling of Jane Eyre. When Chelsea comes to the club, The Underground, she discovers where her mother grew up. She also finds the man named Hence, who knew her mother a long time ago. He is not thrilled that Chelsea shows up asking questions, but her lets her stay in her mother’s old loft room in the apartment over the club. He is the story’s Heathcliff. The story is written between mother and daughter perspective in alternating chapters. I was pulled in immediately to Chelsea and her search for answers about her mother and the setting of the nightclub. The nightclub is a rich back drop and Hence was once a rock star. The romance between Hence and Catherine is intense, but what I really loved was the relationship between Catherine and her father. Catherine struggles between her intense love of Hence and her future dreams to go to Harvard. Chelsea then discovers her mother’s hidden journal in a book. Another hidden book leads to Chelsea to solve the mystery of her mother. This book is part love story and party mystery. I loved falling into Catherine’s gritty world of rock music. She is a strong character. I highly recommend this both as a read alike and as a story that holds well even if you are not a Wuthering Heights fan.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss how Chelsea found out her mother was still alive. What would you have done?
What is your opinion of Hence from both Chelsea and Catherine’s perspectives? How does he compare with Bronte’s Heathcliff?
Discuss Catherine’s relationship with her brother and how that ultimately lead to her end. Discuss her relationship with her father.
Discuss Catherine’s choice to enroll at Harvard after her visit.
Discuss keeping a journal and how it could impact others in your life.
How are Chelsea and Catherine different? How are they the same?