Barrington Stoke can be relied on to support and develop readers and this novella is no exception. Its attractive cover, clear font and sturdy pages make the retelling of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights an appealing read. There is no condescension here – the language flows, often touched with poetic imagery and the pace of the story is compelling. Varied sentence lengths control mood and atmosphere and the characters are vividly brought to life. Short chapters have sufficient content to move the reader on briskly but there is no sense of a rush through the story.
Events are seen through Cathy’s eyes and the power of her emotions is strikingly conveyed. The narrative feels raw but is never overwritten: it would be easy to drift into sentimentality or bathos, but Landman avoids these traps. There is, of course, little respite from the emotional heat of the story but the wild, unruly chidhood of Cathy and Heathcliff whirls its way across the moors in a more lighthearted innocence which Landman focuses on to give light and shade to the plot.
Landman brings her own voice to this classic: it never intrudes but instead selects and interprets. This would be an excellent purchase for a school or public library-well worth the price in these financially straightened times. It is an excellent introduction to a novel firmly rooted in the canon of literary greats. More, please!