10 March, 2016

#BookReview :: Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

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. 

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I love classic and fairy tale retellings and I have read quite a few fairy tale retellings. But Jane by April Lindner is the only other classic retelling that I have read so far. So, when I found out that this book is inspired by Wuthering Heights, I took the chance of getting my hands on a second classic retelling. I was surprised and disappointed at the same time to realize that while the plot outline may feel familiar, Stone Field can be considered on its own. This is definitely not a retelling.

The story tells us about a fierce and passionate woman Catrina a.k.a Cat. She finds a man burning up with fever who has no memory of who he is and where he is from. They make for an odd duo – one with no memory of his past and the other with memories that she wishes would remain in the past. But love finds its way into their hearts slowly as they accept the other as they are. But it seems like they are the only one who are happy about the relationship that is the source of local scandalous gossips. But the past soon catches up; they cannot deny who they really are and with the war knocking on their doors, will their relationship survive?

The protagonists drove me mad as I kept wondering if both of them were mad or was it just me who found them really odd. Cat brought on conflicting emotions in me at the beginning. She is rebellious and fierce and passionate; you cannot help but admire her for it at times. But she is also a really selfish person. She loves Stonefield passionately but that is where she draws the line. She doesn’t give a damn about anyone else, no matter whether they are friends or well-wishers. Stonefield is also almost in the same way. I mean, they are supposed to be a bit dysfunctional but Christy Lenzi seems to have taken things to a whole new level of madness. Needless to say that it was really difficult for me to like them and they made me want to give up on the book quite a few times. It was Christy Lenzi’s narrative that kept a hold on me throughout. It may that her beautiful narration is also the reason why I reacted so strongly against the protagonist. The author simply draws you and gets you involved in the story so much that it was impossible not to feel strongly about the situation and the people involved. Another attraction of the book is a supporting character Effie. She is Cat’s friend and she burns with this intensity that I usually expect from the protagonist.

This is a dangerously contradictory book. I loved it and I hated it. The plot, the language and the narrative are very good. It was the characters that spoiled it completely for me. I will leave it up to you readers to decide whether you want to take a chance with it or not. It is not a very big book and so it would be couple of hours’ worth of gamble. 

Review Copy received via NetGalley

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