BLACK SPRING by ALISON CROGGON.
An evocative reimagining of Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's timeless tale of doomed love.
When Oskar Hammel seeks refuge in the grim Northern Plateau, he discovers a patriarchal society where vendetta holds sway and wizards enforce the code of blood and vengeance.
Through a shocking encounter with the brooding Damek and his wilful young wife, Lina, Hammel uncovers a story of destructive longing and possessive desire beyond his bleakest imaginings.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (1: Hammel): After the long winter, I needed to get as far away from the city as I possibly could.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 17): His eyes were absolutely devoid of light, and his features pale and insensible as carven marble. The rain ran unchecked down his face, as if he really were a statue. My heart quickened as I noted the white band he wore around his right arm. This, then, was one of the Dead;
MY THOUGHTS: An evocative reimagining of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights according to the outer back cover.
Hmm, though not totally unfamiliar with the story I've never actually read Wuthering Heights so I can't possibly comment on this BUT as comparisons with Gothic classics seem to be the order of the day I admit that for me the opening chapters of Black Spring put me in mind of Bram Stokers Dracula.
Rather disappointing all round. The dual narratives (the story telling is shared between Hammel and Anna) did nothing for me and whilst I thought it very brave of the author to combine witches and wizards with a Gothic-style love story, it just didn't work well for me.
Though written for the Young Adult market (for those 14 and over according to the cover) whilst I suspect it will be just as appreciated (or not) by those much older I wouldn't think it particularly suitable for younger readers due to the 'vendetta' which, without giving anything away, is quite harrowing to read.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: An Uncorrected Proof copy received at a book event, I shan't be keeping this.
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