January 14, 2013

Review of Catherine by April Lindner


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.

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Catherine by April Lindner
Publication Date:  January 2, 2013
Publisher:  Poppy

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions *

Gabby NewCatherine by author April Lindner is a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s forbidden romance Wuthering Heights. I was cautious about the novel simply because I haven’t read Wuthering Heights, ever. I’ve never really had a thing for the classics.  I don’t really want to take the time out of my day to read a novel that is not only set in a different era entirely but to also have to face a different style of writing than what we’re exposed to in modern times. I wasn’t exactly going to be going into the novel without a clue what happened in the original Wuthering Heights, I knew the basic plot points and the character names in the novel and I have to admit that I’m very surprised by how much I loved Catherine. It was a refreshing read and it isn’t an in-your-face retelling and I’m glad for that.

Catherine takes place in two different points of time and is split into two stories. The first being the one set in the present with main character Chelsea who discovers a note in her father’s closet from her mother that is addressed to Chelsea and tells her that she’s leaving and hopes that she will see her again soon. Chelsea always thought that Catherine had died of an illness, but now she knows the truth; Catherine never died, she’d disappeared.  Chelsea ends up going to the only place she can guess her mother would be after reading the note and so she finds herself in New York at the Underground where she comes face to face with the rock music club’s owner Hence who ruefully allows Chelsea to stay when he finds out that she is Catherine’s daughter.

The novel also takes place twenty years in the past from the POV (point of view) of Chelsea’s mother Catherine whose father owns the Underground, a club up and coming music acts perform.  It’s when Catherine gets a knock at her door that she meets Hence, mysterious, handsome and brooding, something compels her to get Hence a job at the Underground. It doesn’t take that long for Catherine to fall in love with Hence, but when her brother threatens their relationship, Catherine maintains a secretive relationship with Hence. It’s after her father dies that Catherine and Hence finally decide to start a life together, despite Catherine still being in high school. However it’s blind fate and circumstance that threaten their relationship and lead to Catherine’s mysterious disappearance.

The mystery aspect of Catherine seriously had me unable to stop reading, every chapter in Chelsea’s POV had me wondering what happened to Catherine. Why would she not want to be found? Why would she hide from her daughter? Is she really dead? Why does Hence seem so sullen about Catherine? All those questions and more stirred through my mind throughout the novel and you would be surprised by how many of them were answered right by the end of the novel and from the chapters in Catherine’s POV. Chelsea was a character that I enjoyed in the novel because she is unique compared to most heroine’s in YA, whereas most of them are Mary Sues or super obedient even when they shouldn’t be, Chelsea came off as angsty and willing to do whatever it takes to find out what happened to her mother. Out of the characters introduced in the novel, I admired Chelsea the most.

As for the romance in the novel (and this should be the most important since Wuthering Heights is a romance from what I know) both characters experience it, but Catherine got the majority of all the lovey dovey stuff. Catherine and Hence had a cute relationship right from the start, but as the novel progressed I was getting more and more annoyed with it. Holy possessiveness Batman, that is how Hence when it comes to Catherine. Not only that, but Catherine also feared telling him important things about her life in fear of Hence dumping her, I’m not expert on romance, but that sounds unhealthy and when Catherine does notice that in the novel things suddenly get oh so very exciting. When it came to Catherine and Hence, Lindner managed to raise a ton of emotions in me and I’ve gotta admit that I loved it a lot.

Was I shocked by the ending of the novel? Hell yeah. Right from when Catherine finds Hence with Nina and onward, I was bombarded with nothing but plot twist and plot twist. The very ending of the novel, where we finally learn what happened to Catherine, had me literally wide eyed, after what happened to hence, I was left in shock. Never have I experienced an ending as unpredictable as the one I found in Catherine.  The only thing that I would warn readers about when it comes to Catherine would just be the sex that happens between Catherine and Hence in the novel and the coarse language. Other than that, there wasn’t anything in the novel that I would be majorly concerned about for any readers who are hesitant about those things.

I would recommend Catherine to fans of the original Wuthering Heights, but I’d also recommend it to teenage readers who haven’t read Wuthering Heights like me, but want to experience the plot all the same. Fans of romance and of music will love Catherine… I know I did.

About the Author:


I’m the author of Jane, a contemporary retelling of the classic novel Jane Eyre, published by Poppy, and of Catherine, a Wuthering Heights retelling, due out in early 2013.  I’m also a poet.  My new poetry collection, This Bed Our Bodies Shaped, was just published by Able Muse Press, and my first collection, Skin, will be coming back into print in early 2013.  I also write literary criticism and edit poetry anthologies.  Last but far from least, I’m a professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Ashley

    This is such an awesome review!! It totally has me wanting to read the book. I haven’t read Wuthering Heights, but Catherine caught my eye because the blurb sounded good. And the way you describe it—as such a mysterious pageturner—is awesome!

    I hope I get a chance to read this soon. :)

  2. brandileigh2003

    I haven’t read WH, but I have heard a lot about this one. Glad it surprised you and had you in suspense.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. Dione Sage

    Well now I have to read this book, your review and suggestion for Wuthering Heights fans….I can’t pass it up!

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