20 Nov 2015

NELLY DEAN.


NELLY DEAN by ALISON CASE.

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: A young woman fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.

Nelly Dean has been young Hindley Earnshaw's closest companion for as long as she can remember, living at the great house, Wuthering Heights. But when the benevolence of Hindley's father brings an untameable orphan boy into the house, Nelly must follow in her mother's footsteps, and give up her freedom to serve the family.

Then a new heir is born and a reign of violence begins that will test Nelly's spirit, and show her what it is to know true sacrifice ...

FIRST SENTENCE {One}: Dear Mr Lockwood,

I don't suppose you'll be expecting to hear from me, not since I sent you the few bits of things you left behind on your last visit - you'll remember, the handkerchiefs, and your carved walking stick that turned up after you left.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 179}: 'What did you say?' the master roared, surging out of his chair. He did not wait for an answer, but hauled them both to their feet and boxed their ears soundly.

SOURCE: A GoodReads win.


FREE BOOKS LOOKING FOR A HOME WHEREVER YOU SEE THIS SIGN.MY THOUGHTS: Let me begin by stating that whilst I am of course familiar with the story I have never actually read the book, Wuthering Heights, of which this is an re-imagining, an 'off-spring' or a companion read if you will, in which the author tells the story from the point of view of the maid, Nelly Dean.

So, can it be appreciated by someone who has never read Wuthering Heights?

Well, whilst I certainly didn't feel like my understanding or enjoyment of the story was in any way impaired by my not having read the original several of my friends (who have read and love Wuthering Heights) assure me that I would have got more out of Nelly Dean if I had in fact read Emily Bronte's take on events. But then again ...

Never having read the original it could be argued that I came to this novel with no preconceived ideas though I'm beginning to doubt this as expecting something more Gothic, more broody and atmospheric I was left rather disappointed.

But I digress. 

Written as what is best explained as a letter (never a favourite format of mine) to Mr Lockwood which she knows she will never send, the Nelly Dean of the title relives her story. And at 471 pages what a 'letter' it is.

Over long, plodding, at times overly descriptive and that's without all the breastfeeding which the author writes about with such, well, gusto despite the fact that I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have featured much (if at all) in actual Victorian writing.

Then there were the characters. Perhaps a novel deliberately meandering the better to get to know them. For myself try as I might I simply couldn't connect with any of them though I did come close with a few of the secondary ones.

As for the big question .... having read this would I want to read Wuthering Heights as my friends assured me I would? In short, no.


12 comments:

Kelly said...

It has been many years since I read Wuthering Heights (and I remember liking it better than Jane Eyre and never read the other sister's novel), but I'm not sure I would remember enough to make comparisons to something like this. In fact, based on your review...I don't think this will even make it to my wish list.

I do like the cover, though.

Brandi Kosiner said...

I haven't read Wuthering Heights, but sorry this one didn't make you want to read it any more

Sherry Ellis said...

I enjoyed Wuthering Heights immensely. Too bad this book rambled too much for your liking.

frayedattheedge said...

I've read Wuthering Heights so many times over the years, I don't think I would want to read this.

Lily B said...

I have read several books like these without actually reading the one it took a spin off and have not had an issue with!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I read Wuthering Heights in high school- so it has been a long time. I think you gave the book a fair chance and I appreciated your honest review. Was the whole book one long letter? Or am I misunderstanding what I read... If so- that is one loooong letter!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Too bad it didn't work out for you. I am either hit or miss with the letter format. Doesn't sound like it would be a hit with me either. Hopefully the next is better!

Natasha Hill said...

Ooh this sounds interesting! I did like Wuthering Heights - we read it for A-level English Lit and it swept me away so maybe I'll like this - sorry it didn't work out for you, it's a shame if a book doesn't hit it off even if the format seems good. Thank you for all of the lovely comments too! - Tasha

Suko said...

Tracy, I read Wuthering Heights many years ago, in school. Thank you for your honest review of this book.

Enjoy your weekend!

Brian Joseph said...

I never read Wuthering Heights but I really want to.

I think that these novels that attempt to revisit classic books often, though not always, fall very short.

Gina R said...

Ah yes...the inevitable dilemma of if it was better to read the original first or after. I fall into the same boat as you with another story...Little Women. I've seen several of the movie versions, know the basics of the story, but have yet to read the original though I have read LITTLE VAMPIRE WOMEN. Still rather enjoyable though...though Pride Prejudice and Zombies was not. Thanks for the glimpse into this one!

Literary Feline said...

I am not a fan of Wuthering Heights and so this being a re-telling of sorts of that one would not recommend it to me.