Heathcliff by Sue Barnard
Sue Barnard is always a safe pair of hands as an editor and an author. So, when I noticed her book, Heathcliff in my TBR pile, I shuffled the pile to get to it faster. To be honest, writing a spin-off novel about a character that appears in a classic novel is not simple. In fact, reading this kind of novel is not simple either, because I feel that my perceptions of that character will always be tinged by what the original author wrote.
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights has always been an enigma: was the handsome, brooding young man a victim of his abused past, or was he a diabolical person from birth? No-one really knows. But this author takes these questions into account as she portrays him in a believable way in her novel which recounts what happened to him in the three years he was missing from the story. I also noticed that her prose fits seamlessly into that of the original Wuthering Heights.
The author’s attention to detail regarding life at the time is fascinating, and improved my knowledge of history of the period. As I read the novel, Heathcliff transformed from a boy into a man, and I followed his adventures. This shed light onto unanswered questions. I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone especially fans Wuthering Heights, and aficionados of historical fiction.It is an incredibly well written book and would be an excellent read for book groups.
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. She was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult “Round Britain Quiz”. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck. In addition to working as an editor for Crooked Cat/Darkstroke Books and Ocelot Press, Sue is the author of six novels: The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don’t, The Unkindest Cut of All, Never on Saturday, Heathcliff and Finding Nina.
She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her. Sue lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.