ARC Book Review: Stone Field
ashley | Yes. I read another retelling of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. What of it? I know there are a lot of feelings towards Wuthering Heights, but it is my favourite book and instead of reading it over and over again, I will devour the story in any form at every opportunity. So of course, when Stone Field by Christy Lenzi came across my radar, I requested an ARC immediately. I loved the cover, I loved the title, and chances are I was going to love the book.
I don’t know why I love retellings so much, you’d think they get old, but I think what fascinates me most is how each time, the author finds a way to tell the same story in a new and fresh light. There’s a new angle, new names based on the original names, new suspense even though you know what is going to happen. At this point I know this story inside out and yet I was still on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen.
What I liked about this take is that Lenzi gives such a casual voice to Catrina, our Catherine. Her thoughts and feelings are so potent and open; you have a strong line into what she is thinking, which isn’t always so available in other versions or in the original. Yes, we know Catherine lives and does as she pleases, but the running commentary isn’t always there and I found this added another opportunity to intimately reconnect with the character.
The downside of this voice, though, was how plain and obvious the instalove was and sometimes it felt a bit much. Knowing the story you understand the intense and passionate chemistry that ignited almost immediately, but when you put it into terms like “He wants me and I want him too” before they’ve said nearly five words to each other, it reminds me of everything that drives me crazy in so many books and kind of takes that guttural attraction out of the equation. I feel anyone who isn’t overly familiar with the original might be turned off by this elementary instalove.
Catrina seems like such a wild woman in this text, but taking the time into consideration, the extreme actions of those around her feed into her passion for freedom and the two constantly battling one another creates this almost unbelievable chaos. It seems overdramatic or exaggerated, but I actually think it’s quite fitting and I loved how absolutely crazy Catrina seemed at times. She was like a passionate hurricane, devouring everyone around her.
This tone of voice is also very merciless to the unpleasant characteristics these characters have. Catherine is notoriously selfish, but it’s kind of veiled behind Bronte’s beautiful words. But here, it’s plain as day and you really see that darkness in her coming through so vividly. This isn’t necessarily favourable to the character, but I loved how in your face these flaws were in this book. It’s almost like just by changing the way it was written, Lenzi was able to focus on a different element of the story that doesn’t always get a lot of focus. It doesn’t change things overall, it just gives a different angle to the story.
Catherine’s passion and urgency is so very much alive in Catrina and alive in Lenzi’s words. Some of the passages are so well written I actually felt an ache in my chest. This is why I read books, for moments like this, to be so moved by stringing together a few words. If I were to list everything I liked about this book, I’d almost be rewriting it line for line. Honestly, I loved everything. Every. Single. Word.
today! march 29, 2016