I’m excited to kick of this Tour for CATHERINE by April Lindner. It’s a wonderful Wuthering Heights Retelling and todaay I’m thrilled to share my thoughts with you and had the chance to chat with April. Thanks to Jamie and Rachel from Rockstar Book Tours for organizing this great Tour!
Published January 2nd 2013 by 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.
Most of you know that I’m German, which also means that in school we read a whole bunch of different classics than you guys. This in turn also means that I have never read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. But anyway, this doesn’t stop me from reading retellings such as CATHERINE!
Two Young Girls – 20 Years Apart!
Chelsea grew up only with her dad, and when someday she finds an letter from her mom Catherine she decides to figure out why she left her daughter and husband 14 years ago and leaves for an unlike adventure in New York. There she finds more and more tiny snippets of her mothers life and begins to understand and see Catherine in a totally different life.
The story is told from both Chelsea and Catherine’s POV, while Catherine’s POV is set 20 years in the back when she was just 17 as her daughter is now. In the beginning I was a little scared I might not like to follow both POV, but I found myself being utterly engaged and engrossed in both girls life and journey.
What happened 20 Years Ago?
April Lindner told this story in a very smart and completely compelling way. While Chelsea learned more about Catherine, we jumped to Catherine’s POV in the past and relived what happened 20 years ago. It was part mystery and a big part romance that was incredibly emotional.We kept wondering what the hell happened to Catherine and we were secretly hoping and rooting for an unlikely happy ending.
Vivid and complex characters!!
We most definitely meet a vast cast of vivid and truly complex and fascinating characters. Besides trying to understand Catherine herself, we also get to know Hence both as a young boy and his 20 year older self. He was a brilliant character even though it was sometimes not easy to love him – he was very closed up with his emotions and it was not easy to see through his thick wall. I think he was one of most fascinating characters found in Catherine
CATHERINE by April Lindner was a vivid tale of love, loss and mystery that easily sucked me into its world. I found myself being utterly engrossed and enchanted with these characters and I was hoping and cheering for a hopeful ending. I can highly recommend this book for all lovers of Young Adult Contemporary who love to dig a little deeper into life changing decisions and who like light romances paired with an intriguing mystery!
…and now, I had the chance to chat a little with April Lindner and she was so gracious replying to all of my questions even though I had lots of them after I finished Catherine and was so excited about her stories!
About April Lindner
April Lindner is the author of two novels, Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights, and Jane, an update of Jane Eyre. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped.
She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs.
A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.
Danny: Hi April, thank you so much for stopping by today! CATHERINE is your second classic inspired Contemporary Young Adult novel after JANE. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!!) What inspirited you about Wuthering Highs and Jane Eyre so much that you decided to write a contemporary Retelling?
You’re right; JANE was my first and CATHERINE was my second. I’ve always loved contemporary retellings of classic novels, and wanted to take on the challenge of trying to write one myself. JANE EYRE and WUTHERING HEIGHTS are my all-time favorite novels. They have everything—romance, suspense, insight into the human heart. For me they were the obvious choices.
Danny: Both JANE and CATHERINE deal with music and rockstars, which I especially find utterly exciting and appealing. There is just something very sexy about rockstarts, right? What place has rock music in your life and why did you choose them for both of your retellings?
I completely agree—there’s really something about a rock star! Music has been a lifeline for me, ever since I was a shy teenager who spent way too much time in my room, writing poems and stories, listening to my favorite albums, and trying to teach myself to play my acoustic guitar. These days I feel most alive when I’m at a show—lost in an ecstatic arena crowd or up against the stage in a tiny club. I’d always wanted to write a retelling of JANE EYRE, but it wasn’t until I thought of reimagining Mr. Rochester as a rock star that I knew that was a book I just had to write. I sat down the next day and wrote like mad until I was done.
Danny: While reading CATHERINE I was utterly enchanted by the world you created surrounding a famous rock club. I know there are tons of these in New York, but is there a particular place you envisioned while creating The Underground?
The Underground is part CBGBs and part Bowery Electric (a wonderful club not far from where CBGBs used to stand), but it also bears a strong resemblance to my favorite club of all, The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, NJ, where I’ve spent a lot of very happy hours.
Danny: If you would be Chelsea, would you also have run away without telling your dad just to search your mom? I think I would be too scared leaving for such a big city with only being 17!
At 17 I would never have dared run away to New York City, but then Chelsea’s life is pretty different from how mine was at her age. She feels lonely and neglected—her workaholic Dad has moved her around a great deal and so she doesn’t have many friends—and when she finds out that her father has lied to her, possibly cheating her out of a relationship with her mother, she’s too angry to think straight.
Danny: What do you think is CATHERINE’s biggest regret?
If only Catherine had been more upfront with Hence, maybe the big misunderstanding that drives them apart could have been averted. But then again, he wants her to choose between him and going away to the college of her dreams, so maybe he’s the one who should have been willing to compromise.
Danny: Hence was one of the most fascinating characters you created for CATHERINE. He was not easy to see him clearly as he was a very guarded boy/man. Was it difficult for you to get inside of his head and outline his character?
I have a whole backstory for Hence in my mind, though it didn’t make it into the novel, in part because I like how mysterious he was to Catherine. I see him as coming from a really troubled background, with an abusive stepfather and a mother who didn’t protect him. I also envision him as having run away from his home fairly early; before he finally makes it to New York City, he’s lived on the streets and in situations that have compromised his innocence. Then he runs into Catherine. She’s so bighearted and generous and so interested in him. Not to mention how creative, smart and beautiful she is. How could he possibly resist her? And how could any other girl ever replace her?
Danny: Would you mind telling us if we can expect another novel like JANE and CATHERINE in the future?
I’d be happy to. I’ve been working on a retelling of E. M. Forster’s A ROOM WITH A VIEW, the story of a British girl who takes a grand tour of Italy, who falls in love there with an unsuitable guy and is forced to rethink her conventional life back in England. In my version—tentatively titled LUCY—the heroine is an American backpacker in Italy who bumps into a freethinking street musician from New Jersey. Of course there has to be a musician!
Danny: Oh my, that sounds so awesome!!! Thank you so much for stopping by at the Bewitched Bookworms today! And on a side note: I have not read JANE yet, but after finishing CATHERINE, I will definitely read JANE as soon as possible!
I hope you like it. Thanks for the great questions!
Full Tour Schedule
- June 17th – Bewitched Bookworms – Review + Interview
- June 18th – Jessabella Reads – Guest Post
- June 19th – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Interview
- June 20th – Romancing the Dark Side – Guest Post
- June 20th – Between the Pages – Review
- June 21st – Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf – Interview
- June 21st – A Little Shelf of Heaven – Review
- June 24th – Parajunkee – Guest Post
- June 25th – The Book Belles – Interview
- June 25th – The Bookmark Blog – Review
- June 26th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Review
- June 26th – Ink Skies – Interview
- June 27th – BookHounds – Guest Post
- June 27th – To Read or Not To Read – Review
- June 28th – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Guest Post
And now, it’s time for a Giveaway:
A hardcover copy of CATHERINE by April Lindner to THREE (3) winners. It is a tour-wide giveaway shared across all the stops via a common Rafflecopter. Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends July 4 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter and contacted by email.