“Alison Case has cracked open Wuthering Heights and inserted into the gaps her own richly imagined story.”


Alison Dean’s historical fiction; Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights runs alongside the classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté and follows with more details the character of Nelly Dean and her life with the Earnshaws.

Beginning before the death of Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw’s mother, the author uses her creative license to imagine what might have happened with Nelly’s life whilst the events of Wuthering Heights were unfolding. The girl and housekeeper Nelly Dean who many will already know from Wuthering Heights grows up with the Earnshaw children, Alison Case develops on this relationship as she explores the character creating other events that coincide with those that have happened in Wuthering Heights.

With references to the original work from which these characters were taken, readers can revisit the characters they loved (or hated) from Bronté’s work. However if you have not read Wuthering Heights you may struggle with the events that are referenced only in brief.

An interesting story with a clever concept of revisiting characters, and adding to a classic tale. Unfortunately, it is not as dark and twisted as Bronté’s original novel, but the book’s plot is captivating and intriguing. The author also effectively pulls on the reader’s heartstrings with the first person narrative from Nelly Dean herself- much like parts of the original Wuthering Heights in which she tells Mr Lockwood the story of the Earnshaws/ Lintons, in this it is written in the form of letters from Nelly to the same Mr Lockwood.

If you’re missing the characters from Wuthering Heights and want to read something new about them, then this might be the book for you.

Reviewed by:

Catherine Muxworthy (Books Bird)

Added 25th February 2016

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Catherine Muxworthy