Title: Black Spring
Author: Alison Croggon
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Gothic, Retellings, Twisted romance
Dates read: 18th – 25th February 2019
Publisher: Walker Books
5th sentence, 74th page: But now I suspect that they might not have become so close if Lina hadn’t behaved so cruelly to begin with, and that part of his respect for her stemmed from his initial experience of her demonic temper.
Lina is enchanting, vibrant by wilful. And her eyes betray her for what she truly is – a witch. With her childhood companion, Damek, she has grown up privileged and spoiled and the pair are devoted to each other to the point of obsession.
But times are changing.
Vendetta is coming.
And tragedy is stalking the halls of the Red House.
A stunning new novel by Alison Croggon, inspired by the Gothic classic Wuthering Heights.
The week before I read this I made an attempt at reading Wuthering Heights. I say attempt because I kind of hated it. Not the writing or the storyline, but the characterisation. So I wanted to tackle a retelling immediately after. After all, I like the idea of everything in the original, I just found Heathcliff so damn douchey that my rage couldn’t get past it to enjoy everything else that was going on. Black Spring helped to cure me of this.
Black Spring follows pretty much the same storyline as Wuthering Heights. It also makes Damek (Heathcliff) and Lina (Catherine) far more relatable. I still kind of thought that they were silly, and Damek was still the epitome of selfish, obsessive love. But, they were just on the wrong side of the line and so more approachable. It meant that I could appreciate the themes and ideas that were being shared, and actually enjoy the storyline while I was doing it.
My enjoyment of this story was probably helped along by the fact that there was a fantasy aspect to the storyline. The addition of magic and the emphasis on the disjoint between wizards and witches (gender) worked brilliantly to further highlight the unfairness and indignities which Lina was forced to face. It made her story a lot more tragic and sad than that of Catherine. I actually found myself liking Lina, although she had many of the same character flaws, it was much easier to see myself in her than in Catherine.
I absolutely adored everything about this book. But I think that the aspect I enjoyed the most was the ending. Damek’s haunting and horrible actions towards Lina’s daughter culminate in some kind of revenge. And the sway in which this was done was poetic justice at its finest.
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