Catherine by April Lindner is a modern retelling of Wuthering Heights. It's been half a lifetime since I read the original, but I don't think that hampered my enjoyment of the book.
she was very young, Chelsea had been told that her mother Catherine had
died. Upon learning that Catherine actually ran away, Chelsea sets out
to discover the truth about her mother's disappearance. Her search takes
her to the hip nightclub where Catherine grew up -- and to Hence, the
club's bitter, withdrawn current owner. There's some history between
Catherine and Hence that Chelsea is only beginning to discover -- does
he know why her mother ran away all those years ago? Does he know where
she is now?
The story is told in alternating viewpoints,
switching back and forth between Chelsea's adventure and Catherine's
teenage romance with Hence. Readers who are familiar with the original
will not be surprised to learn that it doesn't end well for Catherine
and Hence -- but they may be surprised at how Lindner evokes sympathy
for the tempestuous pair. I remember Wuthering Heights as basically a perfect storm of dysfunction (hilariously caricatured by Jasper Fforde in the group therapy scene in The Well of Lost Plots),
but in this book teenage Hence has moments of genuine likability. There
are a few issues, of course -- Chelsea is not the most fully realized
character, and most of the choices she makes over the course of the book
are bad ones (at least from this adult reader's point of view), but I
was definitely engaged to the very last page. I'd recommend this to both
fans and detractors of the original, as well as those who have never
read it but have a vague idea of what the story is about.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)