Welcome to the blog tour for Stone Field by Christy Lenzi!
We're proud to help celebrate this gorgeous retelling of Wuthering Heights with a a psudeo-academic analysis of the retelling, and our reactions to it!
(Don't be surprised to see a GIF or too!)
We're also adding in our own special giveaway as well!
Expected publication: March 29th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.
Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
(From Prada to Nada, I am totally looking at you.)
So it was with a lot interest that I started reading Stone Field, and decided to do an analysis for this book. But before I begin, I just want to share a picture of my favorite screen version of Wuthering Heights thus far:
The plot is structured similarly, and many of the characters have similar-sounding names (e.g. Catherine = Catrina; Hadley = Henry). The effect is a comforting and familiar one - as someone who has read the book and seen multiple screen adaptations, that plot and character familiarity basically makes me feel like I've wrapped myself up in a warm blanket.
But where Lenzi diverts from the path, is her immediate decision to make Stonfield a character of color.
(Though interestingly enough, it was a choice that was also made in the 2011 version of Wuthering Heights:)
Unlike the Heathcliff of the original text and previous adaptations, Stonefield is also seemingly well-educated, and poetic. He's able to quote Shakespeare, and makes mythological allusions in conversation. It's different from the rough-and-tumble Heathcliff that is tamed by Catherine in the original text, and it's fascinating to see how it's this eloquence that begins to attract Catrina to him:
I imagine Stonfield coming to my bed in the middle of the night. But he doesn't creep. He walks tall and naked through the moonlight room. And instead of a knife, he's holding Pap's Shakespeare. I smile.
- Chapter 4, Stone Field
Stonefield is also a clear artistic inspiration to Catrina; he's able to recognize her burgeoning talent, and also encourage its growth in a way that feels genuine. This is what support feels like, in a relationship. Consequently, Lenzi shows how far Catrina is willing to take the relationship, which is in direct contrast to the morals of that time.
But this being Wuthering Heights, means that that things unfortunately don't stay happy for long. Rathe than just use an accident/circumstance to separate the two, Lenzi is actually fairly and intelligently deliberate about the choices that she does make. It's here that I think Stone Field really shone; Lenzi's incorporation of belief systems, judgements and ideas of that period, were both informative, as much as they were challenging - especially as we see how they impact Catrina.
Though the two lovers still part as they do in the original, Lenzi ups the tension and the stakes considerably- especially in contrast to the original novel. There are ramifications to the two of them not being together, which extend beyond their individual relationship.
While I won't spoil the ending for all of you, I will say that Lenzi does take inspiration from the original, and builds on it in a way that is perfectly painful and fitting for the modern age, and for the journey of her original characters. All in all, a worthy read.
Check out the rest of the tour!
www.bookrookreviews.com <- Hello!
(I'm also not sharing what they look like, since they're a surprise!)
Ends April 1st! US/CAN.