I read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte when I was in high school and then re-read it a few years ago. I really love the story and the characters in the book. It was absolutely beautifully written and had a certain magic about it. Recently I was going through the Penguin Spring Releases catalogue and I saw that Susan M. Wyler had written a book inspired by Wuthering Heights. I immediately knew I wanted to read this book.
Title: Solsbury Hill
Author: Susan M. Wyler
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
The windswept moors of England, a grand rustic estate, and a love story of one woman caught between two men who love her powerfully—all inspired by Emily Bronte’s beloved classic, Wuthering Heights. Solsbury Hill brings the legend of Catherine and Heathcliff, and that of their mysterious creator herself, into a contemporary love story that unlocks the past.
When a surprise call from a dying aunt brings twenty-something New Yorker Eleanor Abbott to the Yorkshire moors, and the family estate she is about to inherit, she finds a world beyond anything she might have expected. Having left behind an American fiance, here Eleanor meets Meadowscarp MacLeod—a young man who challenges and changes her. Here too she encounters the presence of Bronte herself and discovers a family legacy they may share.
With winds powerful enough to carve stone and bend trees, the moors are another world where time and space work differently. Remanants of the past are just around a craggy, windswept corner. For Eleanor, this means ancestors and a devastating romantic history that bears on her own life, on the history of the novel Wuthering Heights, and on the destinies of all who live in its shadow.
About the Author
Susan M Wyler has been writing poetry and fiction since she was seven years old. She studied history at UCLA and Oxford University, has lived in many parts of the world, speaks four languages, and likes to read great writing. In Argentina they believe that life is complete when one bears a child, writes a book, and plants a tree. Happily, she has done these.
First, I have to say that I really love the cover. It is dark and gloomy, but then there seems to be a beacon of light at the bottom of the entire thing with the house and the landscape in front. I also really love how Solsbury Hill: A Novel is written on the cover. This has to be one of my favourite covers.
Format and Writing Style: This book is narrated by a third person who does not take part in the novel. It follows the main character Eleanor as she goes through her adventure in England. The book is well written and flows very nicely from Eleanor’s life in New York to her time in England. There are no chapters in this book. Instead the entire thing is divided into 4 parts and each focuses on a different time/location.
Characters: I thought these characters were good, and had some strong points, but I found them difficult to connect with. I was surprised by some of the reactions of the characters to things that happened in the book and just felt like some of them were going through the motions of “living”. Although I didn’t connect with any of the characters, I did feel bad for Eleanor when she finds out some information that changes how she views herself.
Plot: The plot is cute and really centers around a love story and family. The plot moved along at an okay pace- there was nothing that really pushed it along, but there wasn’t anything that held it static either. I think what was missing was a real climax- it sort of seemed like the story was just plateauing and wasn’t really trying to reach towards anything.
Overall, I thought this was a cute book, especially with its nods to Wuthering Heights. I’m still sitting here thinking about how to describe the story, and the only thing I could think of was mysterious and good. This book goes to show you that thinks work out they way they should in the end.