Format: Audio; 7 hrs, 44 mins
Narrator: Kate Reading
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Source: Review copy from Audible
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 Brontë’s beloved classic, Wuthering Heights. Solsbury Hill brings the legend of Catherine and Heathcliff, and that of their mysterious creator, 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 fiancé, here Eleanor meets Meadowscarp Macleod, a young man who challenges and changes her. Here, too, she encounters the presence of Brontë herself and discovers a family legacy they may share.
With winds powerful enough to carve stone and bend trees, the moors are another world – one where time and space work differently. Remnants 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.
SOLSBURY HILL is a loose retelling of the Gothic classic WUTHERING HEIGHTS, set in modern-day Yorkshire. American Eleanor Abbott is summoned to England at the urgent request of her gravely ill aunt. Her aunt, the current owner of Trent Hall on Solsbury Hill, has secrets to spill, but she dies before they can be shared with Eleanor. With her aunt’s death, Eleanor inherits the estate and the ghosts that come with it. Shocking family secrets are hers to discover as the haunting Yorkshire moors have her in their grip.
This book is also about Eleanor’s difficult choice between two men and the family curse that may doom them. There’s her serious boyfriend Miles, and Mead, her aunt’s foster son. Actually, the decision didn’t seem that difficult to me, but I guess Eleanor had too much time to wander the moors and over-think things. Unfortunately, my least favorite character was Eleanor, who was wishy-washy and lacked appropriate responses to what happened to her.
I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Kate Reading. She did an excellent job with the different accents in this book – American, English, and Scottish – and with female and male voices.
SOLSBURY HILL was an entertaining light Gothic romance. I felt like it was missing the grand passion of the original WUTHERING HEIGHTS, but the mesmerizing moors and mysterious ghosts in the book held my interest. I was also curious to learn how Emily Brontë herself was connected to Eleanor.