Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Review: Catherine by April Linder

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I'm so taken with the signature covers of this author's novels. I have the first one, Jane, on my Nook and I still have to get to it. When Little, Brown offered me the opportunity to read an advanced version of Catherine, I hurried to get it read. Linder's thing seems to be the re-telling of classic stories: Jane is a modern take on Jane Eyre and Catherine is a modern version of Wuthering Heights. Check out the description...

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.

The story alternates between mother, Catherine and daughter, Chelsea. Even though there is a 20 year time difference in their stories, they are both teens as they're telling their tale. Initially I got a bit mixed up with which one was which. This is a minor problem, though. It did not impede me from enjoying the story. It's a mixture of romance and suspense. The characters in the story are so complex and interesting; there are no generic, cookie-cutter characters here! As one who likes to dabble in writing myself, I was fascinated with how the author arranged the story and plotted it. As a romance junkie, she fulfilled that desire by exploring the coming-of-age saga of first loves of both the mother and the daughter. I had to know if these romances were going to come to fruition and have a happy ending, but underscoring that, was the mystery of what happened to Catherine, Chelsea's mother. That's the running theme of the story throughout and it's a real page turner. 

I thought of all sorts of possibilities. The ending shocked me. I came close to figuring it out, but I didn't quite make it. I don't want to say anything that will spoil the surprise, but for all of us who has had a mother...let's just say the ending stuck with me for a while after the last page was turned.

I understand the author is in the midst of writing another one-name book: Lucy, based on A Room with a View. I know I'll be checking it out and I have to make time to read her first book too! It's waiting for me....

Catherine released 1/1/13 by Poppy (Little, Brown and co.)

Toodles, ya'll!
Linder's debut novel


  1. While I am sadly not a fan of the "classics" in my later years this one sounds like it would be fairly interesting as it is updated using modern themes and settings while still keeping the "classic style romance vibe". Thanks for showcasing an author and work new to me once again June, need to put this one on my wishing to read someday list.

    1. Yeah, Jackie. I was surprised by how really good and interesting it was.

  2. Ok...they look and sound great and I hate when I don't have them!

    I am too busy cat herding to read!

    1. What?! You of all people don't have them? I'm shocked! Lol...


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