Wednesday 31 July 2019

#BlogTour Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? by Sue Barnard

Today it's the Blog Blitz for Heathcliff by Sue Barnard. A filling in the blanks spaces of Heathcliff.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK Only)
About the Author
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled 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.

Sue’s first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet), was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014.  Since then she has produced five more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015), Never on Saturday (2017), Heathcliff (2018), and Finding Nina (2019).

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Follow @AuthorSusanB on Twitteron Facebook, on Instagram, on Amazon, RNA,
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”
Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.
Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance and prosperity.
But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?
For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.
Until now…
I think readers who come to this read completely Wuthering Heights free have an advantage. They can experience this and the characters without any preconceived ideas. Those who have read the book are perhaps too tied to the characters they know.                                                    

I'm going to go out on a limb here with what is probably going to be an unpopular opinion. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. Whilst I can enjoy someone being inspired by literature and by infamous characters, it's not easy to do them justice and infuse them with a new interpretation. I think the trick is to perhaps tell the hidden stories, which the author does in a way by exploring the three years Heathcliff disappeared, but in a way that leaves the rest of the original story as intact as possible.

So, here's the thing, the essence of Heathcliff is the powerful relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. It is grounded in obsession, passion and an almost mystical connection to the surroundings. That is at the core of a pretty normal story of jealousy and a woman caught between two men.

When you start to imagine how the spaces and holes in time may have been occupied or add your own thoughts about the characters to the mix then it becomes an entirely different story. That in itself isn't a bad thing per se, but the draw and the magic of the initial piece disappear.

The character of Heathcliff is no longer the face of tragedy, pain and longing as he listens for her call. Instead Barnard presents us with a more jaded and cruel version of the man. A man defined by his years among more hardened individuals and with an eye on revenge.

I liked the idea of filling in the blanks with correspondence. Answering some of the nagging questions with words from the characters themselves, however perhaps some aspects of the characters and the read are supposed to remain a mystery.

Buy Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 30 July 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK Only)

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