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Stone Field

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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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published March 29, 2016

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About the author

Christy Lenzi

2 books76 followers
Christy Lenzi writes fiction for young people. She lives in California's Central Valley.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 93 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 21, 2018
"Catrina." He breathes my name like a secret. I caught you.

"Stonefield." I run my hands over the hills and hollows of him, exploring the strange new land of his body. I let you.

i think a big part of my affection for this book is tied to my love of its source material; Wuthering Heights, and the fact that i have read a ton of retellings of Wuthering Heights, many badly done, but i always appreciate it when an author takes the basic WH framework and does something unexpected with it; in this case, setting it in missouri during the american civil war, transforming heathcliff (stonefield) into a muscogee creek indian, and letting history have its way.

as with any retelling, it's the author's prerogative to cherry-pick through the original material, borrowing some elements, rejecting others, adapting the leftover pieces as needed, and some of the choices are obviously going to work better than others. but i think as long as you, the reader, approach this book knowing it's a Wuthering Heights retelling, and you accept all that this entails, you'll be in good shape to enjoy the book on its own terms. because reading the (many) negative reviews of this book, there seem to be two major complaints:

1) the romance feels like inauthentic instalove


2) catrina (catherine) is childish, unsympathetic, selfish, and stubborn (adjectives culled from several reviews)

most interesting to me is a review containing this line:

Catrina makes life harder for everyone but especially for herself with her reckless actions.

now, i'm not here to single anyone out or poo-poo anyone's opinions, but that sentence right there is pretty much the beating-heart summary of Wuthering Heights, and the fact that the author made "her" catherine such a pill tells me she understands these characters and isn't prettying up the love story like so many others who have adapted WH.

because i think people forget, whether they are influenced by the film-versions of WH or they're willing to forgive bad behavior that springs out of Great and Terrible Passions, that catherine and heathcliff were both insufferable assholes. or maybe they remember that heathcliff was one, because of all the vengeance & etc, but catherine IS childish, unsympathetic, selfish, and stubborn. she's the worst! i mean, except for heathcliff, who is the worst! and Wuthering Heights is nothing more than a gothic predecessor of naughty girls need love, too, and a tale of what happens when two people who only care about each other ruin the lives of everyone they know. which, thankfully, is not many people.

as for the instalove, while i definitely agree that catrina and stonefield are as insta-love as it gets, as long as you remember that this is based on a book whose most famously melodramatic line is “He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” (which is alluded to in this book with "Stonefield is my own self"), and you accept the idea - hokey as it is - that soulmates might recognize each other on first sight, it won't bother you overmuch. it didn't bother me, even though i usually eyeroll at instalove. but since i already had it in my head that these two were playing the roles of catherine and heathcliff, the expectation that they would be drawn to each other uncontrollably was already slotted in, and its suddenness is excusable. since this book doesn't have the benefit of catherine and heathcliff growing up together and having their intense childhood bond to springboard them into romantic love, the inclusion of catrina and stonefield's ability to read each other's minds was a pretty innovative way to identify them as destined to be together without having to provide a "falling for you" sequence. "we can read each other's minds and we think the other is attractive? must be love." and while it might seem odd to have this science fictiony superpower in the middle of a book about nature and war and history, it's no different from the ghost in Wuthering Heights - it's not necessarily supernatural; it's more of a literary device used as a manifestation of their love and their unbreakable connection.

in Wuthering Heights, the passion of the characters is mirrored in the wildness of the moors, and this one also celebrates the natural world - catrina has been creating her own version of installation art (which i loved); manipulating trees, rocks, water, and leaves into elaborate shapes and patterns, which stonefield observes and creates a "piece" of his own in order to get her attention. their love is conducted entirely out-of-doors, swimming, climbing, reading whitman and shakespeare together and celebrating their feelings and their bodies in their own little prelapsarian paradise, free and wild away from the prim and proper expectations of polite society.

'cuz catrina's definitely not well-suited to her time. she despises the corsets and dresses she's expected to wear - preferring trousers or full-blown nudity, frequently covered in mud, and she's reckless and impulsive and - yes - very, very selfish, but since stonefield is included in her definition of "self," she makes no distinction between his needs and her own.

and their needs get pretty saucy. they are both very passionate and inspired by the fecundity of nature all around them. and once they start reading "song of songs" together, things are gonna get steamy pretty quickly. even before she meets stonefield, catrina wants a love that is intense to the point of destruction; a passion heedless of its own safety: I want someone who will climb right into me and explore every inch, knowing they might never find their way out. and this all-consuming love that burns everyone in its path? that's the very essence of Wuthering Heights, my friends...

as a retelling, it's better than most. and kinder to its characters. henry (hindley) comes across way better than he does in w.h., effie (nelly) is fantastic in a complete character-makeover, and stonefield is far less diabolical than heathcliff. zero puppies are hanged. his role in the tragic turn of the events is less about him being a vengeful monster and more to do with him being bad at communicating.

the only thing that really grated on my was this verbal tic of catrina's (is it considered a verbal tic when it only appears in interior monologues?), where she prefaces way too many of her thoughts with the words "lord" or "lordy," but in a secular way:

-I think I'm falling asleep, and Lord, we're already at the parsonage the next time I open my eyes.

-Lord, everything's topsy-turvy.

-Lordy, his smile.

-Lordy, just in time.

etc etc etc all the time

but for the most part, this book did not irritate me the way it irritated so many others, which might be down to my being a WH superfan and having a peculiar appreciation for authors who don't sugarcoat their douchiness. i've barely scratched the surface of what this book does well, using the whole review space to blather about inconsequential details no one but me cares about, so i guess you should choose to read or not read this based on your own WH feels, and not on this dummy's review.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,192 followers
March 23, 2016
Stone Field reeled me in with its pitch: a retelling of Wuthering Heights set in the Civil War. The best and most redeeming quality of this book is the historical component, but sadly the romance and the main character tarnished the entire reading experience for me.

I longed to quit this book early on because of the onslaught of overkill emotions, cloying adoration, and noxious pheromone fumes suffocating me from the very start. This book screams insta-love and takes it a step further. Main character Catrina is instantly enamored with Stonefield, the fever-stricken man found in the middle of her father's field. While nursing him back to health, they quickly fall in love and embark on creepy daily spiritual escapades through the woods near Catrina's house.

This book is clearly a Wuthering Heights retelling, but it lacks the subtleties and nuances Bronte's book possessed. It's obvious that Lenzi is a good writer, but the entire drama of this book is played up too much, and the romance is not realistic in the least. They fall in love too fast and too much. And they can speak to each other telepathically... what?! They feel they're the only ones that understand each other, but I don't see how this connection formed. They recite Hamlet and Whitman to each other, and they both like natural art work. I'm grasping at straws here because the romance makes little sense to me.

It gets worse. Catrina is the most selfish, stubborn, and judgemental person. All she cares about is Stonefield. She's snappy and vicious towards her friends and family who just want her to have a happy and comfortable life. Catrina makes life harder for everyone but especially for herself with her reckless actions. This book takes place in 1861, and there's a sense of propriety and decorum that women upheld in that time, and it's nonexistant in Catrina. The idea of chaperones and purity were still held as highly important, yet Catrina goes against all of these beliefs which I found highly unlikely and implausible. I liked the secondary characters much more than Catrina.

The one shining aspect of this book is the historical component. In 1861 shortly after Lincoln assumes the presidency and the Civil War breaks out, Catrina's hometown Roubidoux Hollow in Missouri is fractured. Although Missouri is a slave state per the Missouri Compromise, there aren't many slaves in the entire state. While most people in her town side with the Union and men are enlisted, resisters who side with the Confederates stir up mayhem. Lenzi did a great job incorporating the history into the story, and I was fascinated by the details she weaves into her story and how it plays such a huge part in the entire plot. She really captured the zeitgeist of the Civil War. Slavery, race, Native Americans, and religion are also thoroughly explored.

This book contains lots of drama and pain and anguish. It's suffocatingly sad and dreary, but I think that really matches the mood of the story and the time period. I don't think I'd recommend this book...
Profile Image for Katherine.
778 reviews355 followers
January 10, 2018
”When I die, I’d rather wake up here inside this world, become a part of it like the roots of the black walnut trees. Like the wild pawpaws and persimmons with their sweet smell as they rot in the ground, turning back into dirt, becoming something different, something new. I’d be the creek water that changes into mist and lingers in the hills, then rains on the fields, trickling down into the cracks where all the seeds hide. I don’t want to leave this world. I want to go deeper in it.”

Synopsis: Everyone is crazy, everyone is naked, and it’s a glorious albeit alarming experience to behold.

Mama Bronte Is Proud: Now THIS is a retelling! Do y’all know how hard it is to find good retellings these days? And literary retellings are so rare that it makes it even harder. Yet I can’t help myself from reading them. So when I heard that this was a Wuthering Heights retelling, I squealed then panicked. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books of all time (her sister Jane’s novel takes the number one spot), so needless to say I am very protective of anyone who tries to write a retelling of my precious baby. And Christy Lenzi hits it right out of the park. I am firmly convinced that if Emily Bronte were to read this, she would be very, very proud of the Lenzi. All the original themes, symbols, and conflicts from the original novel are there, and Lenzi makes Bronte’s timeless tale her own while wholly honoring the original.

Specific Delicious: The above statement being said, I will have to give a word of caution to readers out there. With most retellings, you can almost read them without having read the original source material, of even liking it, for that matter. With this book, however, I think it’s imperative that if you’re going to even attempt to read this book, you need to read the original. And most importantly, you have to like it. Otherwise, I can almost guarantee you that you will hate this book. And by hate, I mean you’ll want to chuck this book into a woodchuck. If you can understand the motives behind the original characters and come to an acceptance of them, then you’ll understand the motives behind these characters too (which I think is part of the problem a lot of readers had). It may seem prejudicial to say this, but I truly believe that the one downfall that this book has is that it can only be understood and enjoyed by the ones who loved Bronte’s novel.

This Is Not A Love Story: When looking at the shelves for Wuthering Heights, the most common shelf I see this shelved under (other than classics, of course), is romance. So let me get this one thing straight for you all; it is not a love story , just as this book isn’t a love story. No, both novels are stories about obsession and fiery passion, lust and manipulation. The characters are wholeheartedly selfish, greedy, prejudicial, less then empathetic, and just all around horrible people. Catrina Dickenson perfectly embodies the spirit of Catherine Earnshaw, and Stonefield captures the same intensity that Heathcliff had. Through her writing and characterization, Lenzi shows that she perfectly understands Catherine and Heathcliff and all the flawed things they stood for. You aren’t really supposed to like the characters, not in the way you usually would when you think of main characters. And while Catrina and Stonefield may be soul mates, it’s not because they truly love each other. It’s because they are both outcast creatures who, through their differences that set them apart by society, can only truly understand one another. So no; Stone Field is not a love story, just as Wuthering Heights isn’t one either.

Wild Things Make My Heart Sing: Catrina Dickenson has always been misunderstood by almost everyone; more comfortable wearing men’s suits and shuddering at the thought of housework, she spends her time making nature art and generally being wild and untamed. The only person who truly understands her is Stonefield, a man who shows up in her family’s field mad with fever and with a serious case of amnesia. And boy, did I love those two. I wanted to hide them in a hollow all my own and not let the mean world get to them. They were just written so vividly that it almost seemed like they were standing right beside me. I can see readers taking a dislike to them cause let’s be honest; they aren’t exactly likable. However, I actually think Lenzi made Catrina’s situation such that I could see some readers sympathizing with her. She’s not allowed to be who she wants to be cause of society’s (and the Bible’s) restrictions, and the more she tries to push against those restraints the more she’s misunderstood and reviled. Hell, there’s even a scene where she’s quoting Shakespeare, so her future husband (a preacher and not knowing who William Shakespeare is), thinks there’s a spirit possessing her called William Shakespeare and proceeds to perform an exorcism to exorcise William fuckin’ Shakespeare. Catrina and Stonefield could be horrible selfish, but I loved them just the same.

NSFW: This isn’t your typical young adult novel. It does read like one, but there are numerous adult themes in here that might not necessarily be the best for YA on the younger side to be reading about. However, I would like to note that I think this book is what Emily Bronte could have written (and maybe secretly wanted to write), if not for the constraints of her time period. Her novel was already controversial enough as it is, but if she had included things like cursing, nudity, and the violence to the degree that this book does, I think the book would have been outright banned. So in my heart, I believe Lenzi made the tweaks to this book that Bronte might have made herself.

Fits Like a Glove: One thing that make this retelling so amazing is how seamlessly Lenzi manages to honor the original novel while making it her own. From the setting to the characters, to showing the different themes and symbols while relating them to the time period she was writing in, it was done so beautifully. From the topics on race and the treatment of the Native American people, to the hills and hollows of the Ozarks that are the perfect American counterpart to the wild Yorkshire moors that Emily loved, to the misunderstanding of Catrina and Stonefield by the townspeople by way of the Spiritualist Revival Moment; it’s all there and it was such a joy to read about.
Finally; a Wuthering Heights retelling I can enjoy! I’ve never read a book that managed to capture the essence of the original so well as Lenzi does with her fiery and passionate retelling, Stone Field. With characters as equally passionate as her writing, I think that Catherine and Heathcliff would grudgingly accept, in their own way, Catrina and Stonefield, as they are the perfect mirror image of their English counterparts. While this book won’t be for everyone, for true fans of Bronte’s novel, it’s the ultimate tribute to a book that, like it’s main characters, is misunderstood.
Profile Image for Tracy (Cornerfolds).
569 reviews197 followers
March 21, 2016

Wuthering Heights has long been my favorite classic novel. I was forced to read it against my will in high school and ended up falling head-over-heels in love with Heathcliff and Cathy! I also happen to be a retelling junkie. So when I saw Stone Field on a Goodreads list several months ago, I knew I absolutely HAD to read it!

This YA retelling, set in America at the beginning of the Civil War, retains a lot of the same tone of the original. Cathy has been swapped out for Catrina and Heathcliff is now Stonefield. While this story is reminiscent of its source material, it is still an entirely new story that can certainly hold its own.

Catrina (also known as Cat) is a strong-willed girl who feels guilt over her mother's death and refuses to be held down or be made into a normal, submissive woman. She wears pants and runs free in the woods, making art out of whatever she can find. Her extremely religious brother disapproves, of course, and tries at every turn to reign her in. Catrina's world is turned on it's head when a amnesiac (maybe-Indian, maybe-Mexican) stranger appears. Taking the name of Stonefield, he makes himself a part of Catrina's life and from there things get really wild.

Despite my love of Wuthering Heights' characters, I had a little bit of a disorienting relationship with Stone Field's. Catrina made me extremely uncomfortable and there were times when I legitimately wondered if she was mentally stable or if she really should do a stint in an institution. Her constant running around naked in front of everyone and carving people's names into her body really made me doubt her mental soundness. The relationship between her and Stonefield required some suspension of disbelief, which I was willing to give. I can accept that they were soulmates and knew instantly, but insta-love is still a hard pill to swallow. As were her actions towards Stonefield later in the book. I may not be an expert on love, but Cat's constant decisions to hurt Stonefield via hurting herself (and others) just seemed counter-intuitive and overly childish. I'm all for a little bit of angst, but most of the decisions made in this book were not totally believable and made sympathizing very difficult.

The character I really loved was Effie, Catrina's best friend and aspiring doctor, despite her double minority status. She seemed to be the most level-headed, down-to-earth character out of all involved. I really wish there had been more exploration of her relationship with Catrina's brother. (That's another irrationally childish decision - maybe it runs in the family?)

Stone Field is a book with a very heavy emphasis on religious extremeism. While Catrina does believe in God, she wants nothing to do with him. Everywhere she turns, however, there is someone trying to force her into submission and, at one point, even trying to force a (non-existent) demon out of her! Effie and Catrina's father are the only religious characters who are not made to look completely insane, so fair warning if that sort of thing bothers you!

Cat and Stonefield's story was very interesting, despite their sometimes-childish behavior. I was up late turning pages on more that one night (and honestly may have finished it in one sitting, had I not been in the midsts of a move). This is the story of star-crossed lovers with the entire world against them (or so it seems). It is not a happily ever after fairytale, which shouldn't be much of a surprise, honestly. It is wild and gritty and sometimes downright dark.

I really enjoyed reading this incredibly unique retelling of my favorite classic, even if I didn't love the characters all the time. I would definitely suggest reading this if you are a fan of Wuthering Heights or forbidden love in general!
Profile Image for CBReader.
50 reviews2 followers
October 19, 2015
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I think "Stone Field' just wasn't for me. I'm going to dive right in.

First, the instalove in this book is laughable. These two are in love with each other before they've ever really had a conversation. Blah.

-Catina and I are fundamentally different people. I get what Mrs. Lenzi was going for. Catina is a free spirit, in a time when women weren't allowed to be free spirits. She was artistic, unique, and not afraid to just be one with herself and nature. However, I also found her to be...weird...not good weird....WEIRD weird. Some of Catina's actions honestly made me uncomfortable. There were times when I questioned whether she might have some sort of mental handicap, and therefore may scenes made me that much more uncomfortable. It just felt yucky, like people were taking advantage of her. She was stripping naked in front of men, at a time when that would have been REALLY inappropriate, yet no one really said anything. She was completely disconnected with reality. An example of this is when she was missing Stonefield toward the end of the novel. She missed him so much that she found an old letter he wrote and tore it up so she could put the pieces of the letter on her tongue so she could "feel his words." Um....that's pretty weird.

-Stonefield's character was also strange and unsettling. For someone who was once a teacher, I found some of his actions towards the end of the novel to not match who we were lead to believe he was all along.
Profile Image for Steve Wiggins.
Author 9 books58 followers
July 13, 2019
I often read young adult fiction at the recommendation of friends and family. This is a fortunate circumstance because young adult fiction has come a long way since I’ve ceased to be in that age-class. In Stone Field, Christy Lenzi has retold the harrowing tale of Wuthering Heights set during the build-up to the American Civil War. By setting it in the ambiguous state of Missouri, the issue of race plays a significant role as Catrina Dickinson, perhaps through the Nightingale effect, falls in love with an amnesiac she names Stonefield, after the place he was found. Since he is a member of the Creek nation raised in foster homes, their love affair is a forbidden one and leads to tragic outcomes.

I’ll avoid too many spoilers here since I want to encourage reading the book. In an era when race relations have once again catapulted to media fiascos, stories like this are extremely important. They remind us of the human tragedy that such misguided thinking almost always entails. In this debut novel Lenzi demonstrates that ability some authors have of capturing what it’s like to be young and in love. The consequences faced by it because of the madness of war make the story a poignant one.

On my blog post about the book (Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) I discuss how religion plays a role in realistic fiction. The Catherine of the Civil War faces a nation divided not just on racial grounds, but equally facing different justifications as found in the Bible. Not just slavery, but the inequality between Native Americans and Europeans, and that between women and men all play major roles in the plot. There’s a lot to think about in this story and it leads to anticipation of what the author might produce next.
Profile Image for Krys.
748 reviews170 followers
August 19, 2016

Christy Lenzi's debut novel Stone Field releases next March from Roaring Brook Press. It is a retelling of Emily Bronte's classic Wuthering Heights, one of my favourite books. Though I am always curious about retellings that curiosity is frequently spiked with caution, particularly when it comes to my favourites. That said, when I read the summary to this book a few months back I immediately grew excited. Wuthering Heights retold in middle America during the beginning of the Civil War? It sounded like everything that I might want for this particular story. Fast forward to now, post-acquiring an advanced copy of the book, and I can say with assurance that this is one of the better retellings that I have read to date. Frankly, this book was everything that I hoped for and more. Wow, does Lenzi know how to re-craft a tale.

Free-spirited Catrina Dickinson has always loved Roubidoux Hollow, her family's sorghum farm in Missouri. She loves the rolling hills and the wide-open skies and she loves being a part of them. Her brother, Henry, fears for Catrina's wild ways, thinking that she needs more Christ in her life and less time to herself. Her father recognizes that Catrina is an independent and loves her like he loved her mother, who died due to an unfortunate accident. Catrina fights to keep her own darkness over her mother's death at bay, toiling on her own "wild work" projects in the abandoned parts of the hollow. Catrina is ever-restless but that all changes the day a naked man turns up in the sorghum.

Catrina's family shelters him and she renames him Stonefield, after the location they found him. Wild and exotic and suffering from amnesia, Catrina immediately feels a kinship with him. Her attraction kindles hotter when her brother voices his opposition to Stonefield's presence, fearing for Catrina's soul. Thus begins a beautiful and inspired twist on the original story; a tale of a country on the brink of war and of the intolerance that brought everyone there, free-folk and slave, black or white alike.

Lenzi has paid particular attentions to the root themes in the story; corruption of desire and covetous greed tinge these pages with their stain. Bigotry in all its forms is another powerful theme as well as the devotion to faith and religion to a person's detriment. And of course there is love; powerful, consuming, awe-inspiring, soul-crushing love. That stands as the heaviest theme in this book -- how love has the power to create, and simultaneously destroy, everything that it touches. Lenzi does not shy away from the dark places of the story but instead enhances them with a devotion that speaks legions of her. She clearly loves the source and that love translates well to this spin. Peppered throughout are beautiful and inspired passages that evoke the original text, passages the beg to be reread before moving onward...and it all comes together incredibly well. I am so pleased that she, of all people, gifted us with this tale.

Catrina herself is a phenomenal character; the best and the worst of Catherine Earnshaw shines through her veneer. She is an earthbound nymph, a bit of a pagan and a soulful will-of-the-wisp in human form. Her friendship with Effie, formerly Nelly Dean in Wuthering Heights, is a perfect mirror of her own inner chambers. Effie is the child of an African woman and a white missionary preacher, a woman in between two worlds herself. She wants to become a doctor and studies medicine, though she knows that it is impossible for a bi-racial person and a woman to do either thing. She and her sister, Lu, add perfect extra flavors to this book, both warm and bitter at times. Effie knows Catrina better than Catrina knows herself. Effie is her family in all ways but one, since she can't marry into the family as she deeply wants to. Effie is Catrina's perfect soul mate, even above Stonefield.

Stonefield, however, is Catrina herself. He is every scrap and cell of her, every nook and cranny. Their immediate desire explodes in this story, creating a whimsical and tense dynamic that overwhelms and overpowers the reader. How can we expect to have a love as fire-hot as theirs, a love that smothers everything else in its path? This element is so like the original that it's hard to read at times, difficult in its honesty and very rough to swallow. We ourselves might never experience fascination like this, lust like this, adoration like this, torment like this. We might never feel the heart-break and the crush of another like this and that is one of the reasons that Wuthering Heights has endured for so long...that possibility of never and ever.

And Stone Field accomplishes all of this. Legions of this, in fact.

Lenzi has written a very uneasy book, a tale of longing, devastation, rape, tragedy, and hatred. In tandem, she has also penned a very beautiful tale, one that explores true love, supportive friendship, passion, acceptance, and kindness. She has honored Wuthering Heights and given something new to its legacy - a tale that stands firmly against it in grandeur and in scope.

I love this book, plain and simple. It's jumped into my top favourite reads for the year and I can't wait for you to read it. Whatever Lenzi does next I will read it. She has become autobuy for me, with one fell swoop, and I can't wait to see where she treads next.

5 out of 5 stars.

- review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,334 reviews584 followers
February 7, 2023
2.5 stars.

CW: Racism, sexual assault

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's 1861 and the American Civil War is inching its way closer to Catrina peaceful life at her family farm with her father and brother. When a young man with no memory is discovered in their field, Catrina takes a shine to him, naming him Stonefield. Immediately the two begin to fall in love, and fight the world that tries to tear them apart.

This is a Wuthering Heights retelling during the era of the American Civil War, and I liked the setting and time time period for such a retelling, it felt like it really suited the kind of relationship and story the author wanted to tell. I think there were many aspects of the retelling that were done really well in this story - particularly the characters of Catrina and Stonefield who for all intents and purposes were not particularly likeable characters due to their selfishness, and quick to anger personalities.

I think this story fell down when it came to pacing. Everything felt like it was happening very quickly and it was one thing after another. And because of that, the relationship felt a little bit over the top as they had known each other only a couple of days before they were declaring they'd kill for one another. I think there was a great opportunity here to to tell a story of a small town divided by the Civil War as well as the story of women left behind to care for everything when the menfolk went to war but it was all skipped over.

There was also a brief upsetting scene in this book when a young Black woman was taken by a group of raiders (of whom Stonefield was one of the leaders) and it's implied that she was raped by these men and Stonefield let it happen. This whole thing was again done and over with very quickly and I think it should have been given more time in the book - particularly the woman's recovering and healing from such trauma instead of it being brushed over.

I don't think I'd recommend this to people but I read it very quickly, and it was mildly entertaining for the day I read it.
Profile Image for Erin Arkin.
1,686 reviews357 followers
February 28, 2016
Stone Field by Christy Lenzi was a book I had my eye on since I read the summary. Inspired by Wuthering Heights I was intrigued. Don’t hate on me but I have never actually read Wuthering Heights (seriously…stop judging me) so I can’t comment on the comparison but I can tell you that it explores the idea of revenge and hate as well as love and acceptance. While slow moving at times, I found myself pulled into this story and turning the pages just to see what would happen next.

I have to admit that I thought the characters in this story were a bit odd. There is an interesting commentary here on what is “normal” and of course, what society would consider acceptable behavior and the main character in this book, Catrina, definitely falls into the category of “odd” to the people around her. She likes to be in the woods making her art and she doesn’t really care what people think about her. As the story progresses, we find out how the death of her mother impacted her but I admit, I found her frustrating at times. When she finds a naked man with absolutely no memory of anything in their fields, she is immediately taken with him.

Not knowing his name, Catrina names him Stonefield. These two are instantly drawn to each other and they quickly begin to create a world for themselves outside of everything else. Of course, with the questions surrounding Stonefield as well as the atmosphere and hate towards “different” people at the time, there is quite a bit of fear and anger embedded in this story and this is where the danger is for these two characters. As Stonefield realizes more and more who he is and where he comes from, it creates a wedge between these two and decisions they make ultimately destroy them.

Inst-love haters will most likely be frustrated by the immediacy of the relationship…I am sure of it and even though I found myself rolling my eyes a bit, I have to say that this piece added to the feeling of the overall story. I thought Lenzi did a wonderful job of creating this atmosphere of fear, hate, and ultimately a love that falls apart. I could feel the tension in the characters and one of the things I find both interesting and frustrating in historical stories is the way female characters are viewed by those around them. God forbid they have a thought in their head or aspire to be more than a wife and mother and in this story she takes it another step by tying religion and fear of the devil into the story.

Overall while the story felt a bit slow in parts, I thought it was well done. I don’t want to say too much about what happens and how but if you are looking for something unique to read, this one will definitely fit. Consider checking this one out when you can as once I started, I couldn’t put it down because I needed to see what was going to happen to these characters next.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!
Profile Image for The NYC Talon.
26 reviews22 followers
February 16, 2016
I hate giving a low rating, whenever I do (when I very rarely do) I feel world of discomfort (who am I kidding? I feel horrible about it, I am no Simon Cowell) - writing and storytelling is hard work, and to critique that is tough - but I'm afraid I didn't like this book at all. I love Wuthering Heights and have forever been drawn in by the characters of Cathy and Heathcliff, so I was beyond intrigued when I read the synopsis for Stone Field. Also, that cover, it's absolutely gorgeous!

The first few pages were not immediately impressive, still I persisted, at about 20% in I realized that I was just not going to love this book. My progress was sluggish, and I found that I could not connect with Catrina at ALL. To my horror I found myself sympathizing with Cat's brother (can you imagine sympathizing with Hindley?!), to which Cat was a constant source of stress. Yes, he was a terrible person, but he was obviously suffering in the torrent of his own impossible love, his political/social convictions, his daddy issues, and his struggle to step up to the plate and protect his father and sister all on the brink of wartime.

I feel like Cat victimizes herself (and I'm not sure if it's victimizing, or just not being understanding of other characters even on a basic level) too often and is entirely too selfish and self-absorbed to be a likeable character. I felt like she was not really sure of anything, and there weren't any real scenes between her and Stonefield to convince me that they have some sort of epic connection. For the first time I actually understood why reviewers have griped about insta-love in books. Stone Field has this insta-love, and it's not convincing. I have loads of family members and friends who are artists and I have never witnessed such bizarre behavior - by bizarre I mean, just plain chaotic and self centered. It's one thing being eclectic and free and full of life and that impalpable nature that artists often exhibit, and it's an entirely other thing to be so wantonly out of touch with reality that you just fail to behave or think logically in any manner. It's like she doesn't care for anyone else besides herself and Stonefield - and even her love for him is questionable - like it's not the actions of someone in love. And that's the thing about Cat, for someone who is supposed to be such a willful force, things just seem to happen to her and we get caught up in her reflections after the fact. I didn't feel like this was really a tale reflective of Cathy and Heathcliff, there are parallels to Wuthering Heights but that potent, (poisonous?) poignant relationship between the original main characters just was not there for Stone Field.

It just wasn't for me. I can see why people would like this book though, the writing style is very imaginative and descriptive. And hey, if you love it, great! Unfortunately, I personally would not revisit this story.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,187 reviews1,338 followers
February 23, 2020
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Stone Field is so different from anything I’ve ever read! This Wuthering Heights retelling features a brave main character who goes against society. Even though I found the pacing of the book to be a bit off, the incredible writing overpowered that fact.

I absolutely adored the main character in Stone Field, Cat. She is daring and clever, two traits I like to see in a main character. Cat rebels against society and stereotypes by wearing pants, which is frowned upon in the society of the book. I was really glad to see an enjoyable character in the b0ok since the books I have been reading lately have really been lacking in that area.

While I did find this book to be enjoyable, the pacing in Stone Field was somewhat lacking. From the very beginning, the romance is developed. The characters fall immediately in love, which bothered me a little. The book was a mix of super fast-paced scenes, and other scenes that dragged on a bit. I was fine with the occasional slow scene, but if you aren’t a fan of instalove, this book may not be for you.

That being said, Stone Field is an extremely well-written novel. The characters and the scene are very developed, which I appreciated. Also, there are some pretty deep themes, like racism and war. Themes of racism in YA books is becoming a lot less common, so this really interested me. It is refreshing to read a more serious book every once in a while.

Stone Field is a historical novel with a brave main character who defies the rules of society. Though I found the pacing to be a bit off, the beautiful writing in the book made up for it. Fans of the historical genre will certainly appreciate this book!
Profile Image for Sarah Schantz.
Author 4 books103 followers
June 10, 2015
I had the privilege of reading an Advanced Review Copy of this book, and let me just say, it was such an honor and a privilege. The narrator has just the right amount of feisty intelligence to keep you turning the pages (or in my case, because the ARC was electronic, scrolling downward). A women's studies fanatic, I loved and appreciated the themes of this book, and was reminded of some of my very favorite nineteenth century literature such as the story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," or the thick Gothic novel, Jane Eyre. But this book doesn't just deal wiht the difficult issue of gender, but of war as well, and the complications it brings, while simultaneously addressing the topic of race, territory, land (and how it doesn't belong to anyone, we belong to it) and the colonization of this country which continues to karmically haunt us today.

But my absolute favorite aspect of this book was every time the protagonist went into the woods to make her wilderness art--artwork that is akin to what contemporary artist, Andy Goldsworthy does when he sculpts the natural landscape into works of often absolutely temporary beauty such as his leaf-weavings or his rock formations, or his stunning work with ice. Just as I've been captivated by Goldworthy's art, I was captivated by the art I read in Stone Field.

Christy Lenzi's book is one that everyone at any age will enjoy, although it also stings the eyes and the heart, but for me that is usually a sign that the author has successfully touched my soul, and why else do we read than for this connection to occur?
Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,382 reviews189 followers
February 26, 2016
See me ramble about books on the internet...
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Holy frickle frackle, this book is amazing. I have so many marked passages and I loved every second of it. Cat is the type of girl you root for because she goes through such a great transition from young adult to woman. It is one that I am fully supportive of.

The thing I hate a bit of a hard time with in this one was the instalove. The characters do acknowledge it so I guess that makes up for it, but it was a tough pill to swallow. The romance between Stonefield and Cat doesn't feel too rushed though, overall. There is time (like the first 30% of the book) that Lenzi spends giving Cat and Stonefield their time together for the reader to fall behind the two of them being together. I think the idea that there is more than just romance to this novel is what really brought it on home for me though.

Cat's character is one that is written so well. She starts off so ignorant to the rest of the world because she is caught up in herself and her guilt. But as she starts to really fall in love with Stonefield, she realizes that she loves the parts of her that are different. So even when Stonefield isn't there for support, she is able to be Cat. There were a lot of moments in the book that I couldn't help but root for her to just be herself. I think she does stumble along the way, but who doesn't. It was just such a wonderful progress to watch because I felt like I was growing up and accepting myself at the same time that Cat was.

I also really liked the friendship between Effie and Cat. I thought they were the perfect bffs because they weren't always nice to one another and sometimes focused more on their own lives than each other but they always were there to help one another when need be. I thought that the familial relationships could have been better developed and maybe a bit more with Effie's family and Cat, but I think the important characters got their screentime and development, so that's what really matters.

Let me start by saying the writing is beautiful in this book. I'm not typically a first person present kind of person but I found it so easy to slip into Cat's world. I did think the pacing was just a tad off -- it felt like we went from 0-60 in a span of two chapters because there wasn't much transition between them in my opinion. But once the story found it's stride again, it was irresistible. Actually, I read this in two sittings and only because I started before work and then finished after work.

I thought the ending was perfect and I was so emotional over it. It was the perfect way to end the book. I think with how much the book talks about endings, it is one that is fitting for the story. It is one that I highly recommend you pick up at the end of March because otherwise you will be missing out on a great read.
Mini Review (13/10/2015):
Originally posted on Queen of the Bookshelves

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Holy frickle frackle, this book is amazing. I have so many marked passages and I loved every second of it. This is going to be a miniature review because I need to get some thoughts down before my full review is posted over on Queen of the Bookshelves in January/February 2016.

Here's one thing I am going to tell you up front: Instalove galore in this one. But they acknowledge it and I find that because they are like "yeah we just met but I am in love with you" I don't think I hate it as much as I usually do. But even though this is a love story there is so much more to it than just the romance. Cat is such a strong heroine and I loved seeing her progress through the story from a young girl who doesn't know her place in the world into a woman who doesn't care. And it was written so incredibly.

I also really liked the friendship between Effie and Cat. I thought they were the perfect bffs because they weren't always nice to one another and sometimes focused more on their own lives than each other but they always were there to help one another when need be.

I thought the ending was perfect and I was so emotional over it. It was the perfect way to end the book and I cannot wait for you guys to see my full review and for other people to read it.
Profile Image for Maddie.
54 reviews
July 20, 2020
Book: Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

Genre: Historical Fiction, Retelling

Publication date: Marach 29th, 2016

Pages: 300

My Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

First I would like to say that I have never read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, so I really went into this not knowing how it was going to go. I did have a vision, like I think we all do with books, of how I thought it was going to go, but that vision was totally destroyed by the 2nd chapter. I don’t know if maybe I had set so much into what I thought it would be or I just haven’t read Wuthering Heights, but this book REALLY shocked me. It was so weird, but it in a good way! I haven’t read anything like this. It’s quite unique!

I loved Catrina, I really did. I think the author did a great job of letting us experience her feelings & thoughts. One of my favorite parts of the book is when she is doing her “Wild Work”. I think through her “Wild Work” we see the beauty of her character & what makes Catrina so unique.

Stonefield was really different than what I thought he would be from my vision & even the beginning of the book. I still loved him, but sometimes I really didn’t understand his actions. Sometimes I got that he had mixed feelings about Catrina, but in the end that all went away.

Speaking of the ending…I STILL HAVEN’T GOT OVER IT! I have never felt so many emotions at one time in any other book ending but this. It literally left me speechless. I am not going to say anymore about the ending because you will have to find out for yourselves!

The only dislikes I had toward this book was:

I felt like it was rushed. I would have liked more time or events. It just went by so quick!
I would have liked more of Stonefield. I felt like I didn’t get to know him as much as I would have liked to. I also felt like he was just this distant character that you only see in some parts.
I am also going to put this in here, even though this was not a dislike of mine & it didn’t bother me one bit. It is that this book does have instant love. I know some people dislike instant love, & I do sometimes, but in this book it really didn’t bother me. If you don’t like instant love I would still give this book a try to see if it works for you!

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a unique book that I can see a lot of people binge reading.
Profile Image for Sandy.
2,557 reviews62 followers
May 27, 2016
I loved the drama and the tension that escalated within this novel. Catrina wanted to be her own person while the world was pressing down on her to conform. Her brother, her friends and society was throwing out their opinions and judgments on her while she fought to stay strong and keep their notions at bay. She was feisty and she fought hard not to lean or give way to the views of others and I had to laugh as her actions and/or her words astonished a few people and left them shaking their heads. The day of the wedding was one such event. I was smiling as I read this part of the novel as Catrina was definitely doing her own thing for this event. When speaking with the Reverend that same day about the Holy Scripture, I never wanted her to stop. She was on fire. I wished I could have seen the Reverend’s face when the two of them were conversing for she definitely had done her reading and she knew a thing or two about the good book.

The romance between Catrina and Stonefield had me on edge throughout the novel. I was fearful that she was infatuated with him and he would leave her shattered. Catrina fell for Stonefield immediately; he made up her air, he made up the majority of her thoughts and they spoke to each other without opening their lips. Stonefield had amnesia when she found him naked in the field and it was because of these unknown details, their relationship terrified me. When would his past come calling and what would it say? Where did he come from and why was he found naked in a field? Her brother kept an eye on Stonefield as the war was full of individuals who were crossing the countryside, who were up to no good and Henry thought Stonefield was one of them. He never gave Stonefield a break; this tension pushed the two lovers outside the home, their intimacy hidden amongst the trees and cliffs surrounding the homestead.

I loved all the different aspects that came into play as Catrina tries to build upon her relationship with Stonefield. It was sudden; their bond became passionate and intensified as they spent more time together. Hidden from others, their relationship becomes exciting and tense. Catrina is too much in love to realize what is materializing between the two of them. When Stonefield starts to recover some of his memories, he is excited to discover his past and Catrina begins to realize that this is going to change their relationship. The novel shifts and things begin to move faster. I’m really glad that I read this novel, I was on a reading slump and this helped it drastically.
Profile Image for Morgan (The Bookish Beagle).
753 reviews160 followers
August 10, 2016
3.5 stars. I'm so conflicted. On one hand this was everything I wanted the book to be, as far as a Wuthering Heights retelling set in the Civil War South. On the other hand, it was stranger than I imagined, and upsetting, and only about half of Wuthering Heights' story.

I'm going to save a longer review or the blog because I have a lot to say. And I will say point blank that if you did not like Wuthering Heights, or don't think you'd like Wuthering Heights, you will NOT enjoy Stone Field. It follows the trajectory of WH in its makeup and tone, including the very passionate insta-love that happens. It works for the characters but I know it will bother some readers.

I really enjoyed most of the book. I could see what the author wanted to do and reading her Author's Note made me appreciate all the details of southern Missouri life that she included. I loved her use of language and the power of words. The tone was dark, fiery, and emotional. And she did a wonderful job of painting these very passionate, opinionated characters. Because of the nature of the time period, there are a lot of upsetting race related issues, as well as issues related to women. But they're presented in a historically appropriate fashion. Cat really is a witchy, strange, different sort of girl. She's dark and passionate, and loyal to herself. She was very selfish and unlikeable at times, much like her inspiration Catherine Earnshaw. The book also dealt a lot with religion and trying to tame her wild ways through Christian kindness. The longer the book went on, the more difficult it got to read; I also didn't care for the last quarter of the book, although the ending redeemed it a bit.

It was a beautifully written but flawed book with harsh characters and soul-consuming love vs duty. I'm glad I read it but I'm not sure I would read it again. I would recommend it to readers who love Wuthering Heights and readers who are intrigued by life during the Civil War.
Profile Image for Breanna.
522 reviews180 followers
June 26, 2017
ARC received through NetGalley

I think this book just wasn't for me. Stone Field is a retelling of Wuthering Heights, a favorite of mine, but I was sadly disappointed by it.

The two biggest issues I had were the romance and the main character. Unfortunately, those are pretty key parts of any book, including this one. To start, the instalove in this book was completely unrealistic and unbelievable. The "romance" between Catrina and Stonefield was overdone, and I'm not sure if that was deliberate on the part of the author or not, but it had me rolling my eyes on every page-an opposite effect their relationship is supposed to have on me, given my love for the original and the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff.

The main character, Catrina, comes off as deranged. In trying to make her stand out, the author instead made her unrelatable and just plain weird. Her behavior, her thoughts, the things she says are not only strange and annoying, but completely inappropriate for the time period. She seemed disconnected to reality and honestly, a little mentally unstable.

The story itself was very rushed. It seemed like it was over before it even began. I was expecting more of a plot, but instead it read like a timeline of a bunch of events that happened, strung together and presented. Like I said earlier, I really wanted to like this and was looking forward to a retelling that would remind me of the epic-ness of Wuthering Heights, however it fell short and was a sad disappointment.
Profile Image for Kathy Martin.
3,502 reviews79 followers
March 5, 2016
This reimagining of Wuthering Heights stars Catrina Dickinson who is a young woman living in Missouri during the Civil War. She is dreamy, artistic, not interested in "womanly" things, and guilt-stricken over her role in her mother's death. When she finds a naked man in the families sorghum field, she brings him home. She takes one look at him and feels that he is her soul-mate. When he awakens from the fever that left him unconscious in the field, he has no memory of his past. She names him Stonefield after the field where he was found and the two become close. Since he is likely at least part Creek Indian, he becomes the target for prejudices of the day.

The whole area is in turmoil because some support the Union, some the Confederacy, and some just want both sides to leave them alone. Catrina's brother Henry is a strong supporter of the Union. Her friend Effie who is the black daughter of a former missionary in Africa who inherited property and became the richest man in town has her own issues to deal with. Effie would be a doctor if she were not female and black. A new preacher comes to town and stirs up trouble for Catrina when he decides that she is possessed by the devil because she doesn't behave the way a proper woman should.

The story was moody, atmospheric, and still rooted in the very difficult time that was the Civil War. Catrina would love to let the whole thing pass by her and live in the present with her love Stonefield but outside forces won't let her. Fans of historical fiction and fans of Wuthering Heights will enjoy this creative reimagining.
Profile Image for Christina.
215 reviews29 followers
February 7, 2017
Okay, so I will be to first to admit that historical fiction is not my go-to. But the synopsis of this looked really good. I absolutely adore epic love stories. And that's what this is, right?

I was wrong.

From the very beginning there is this huge insta-love thing going on with Cat and Stonefield. And it bugged the crap out of me. Where was the epic romance? I wanted to read about falling in love, not about obsessing over someone you literally just met. Halfway through the book and it's only been a week. The two are "madly in love" and I just... No.

The insta-love thing aside, I found I didn't really like Catrina. She kept saying that she wasn't selfish, but she definitely was. Her mother died because of her selfishness. And because of how she was in general I just couldn't find myself liking her or sympathizing with her.

I could not get into this one. I tried, but I failed. If insta-love doesn't bother you and you're into historical fiction give it a shot. But it wasn't for me.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ashlynn Gustafson.
114 reviews5 followers
January 7, 2017

I spent 90% of this book pissed off. The other 10% I spent confused.

I loved LOVED the lyrical way Christy Lenzi writes, but as with Wuthering Heights, the relationship between Stonefield and Catrina was too much. The insta-love, though somewhat explained, is just not my thing.

The idea of this story is great, it really is. And like I said, I liked the writing, but the carryout of the actual plot drove me up a wall.

Also, spoiler alert here: (unless I'm just too dense) it's somewhat of an ambiguous ending. Not nearly as straightforward as Wuthering Heights and that's saying something.

The whole thing was depressing, which I should have expected given the source material.

Side note: give me a whole book about Effie. I'll read the crap out of it.

Side side note: the cover?? 10/10 stars.

EDIT: This is closer to a three than a two, on the grounds of I really did like the writing style. I think my anger lies in the lack of self defense throughout? But I'm just really outspoken.
Profile Image for Terri Robinette.
163 reviews16 followers
October 25, 2015
Cat, a free spirited and unusual woman for her time, meets Stonefield, an Indian boy and the love of her life. Their worlds collide and they live happily ever after. Wrong. The two misfits meet, fall instantly in love, fight against others who wish to keep them apart, and well, it only gets worse from there. Has all the signs of Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, any doomed romance. Odd little side stories as well. The relationship between Henry and Effie. Effie doctoring. Henry marrying the next day to someone else because he is going to war. The exorcism of Cat. Her constant nakedness. And I really could not stand the reverend. Really could not stand him. Despite my negativity, I finished the book. It was ok. Had its moments. Maybe others will really like the writing, the symbolism, the undercurrent. Maybe - just not me.
Profile Image for Kristen.
436 reviews543 followers
May 5, 2016
DNF at page 105

I really want to love this book because the summary sounded amazing. But-I can't read anymore. The telepathy, immediate insta connection...it was too much. If there's going to be a paranormal element I need some explanation. If a couple are instantly attracted and feel deep things I need to believe it. I was interested in the time period the novel takes place during but I was having trouble with everything else. The telepathy poetry being recited went too far for me.
68 reviews22 followers
May 21, 2016
Have you ever had one of those books you couldn't put down? This was definitely one of those books! I started it and didn't stop until the story had swelled to it's dramatic and wonderful finish. This book is a MUST read......for everyone.
Profile Image for Amanda B.
767 reviews81 followers
October 4, 2016
I am not a Wuthering Heights fan (except for the Kate Bush song). If I were, this would be five stars for me! The writing drips with gorgeousness.
Profile Image for Morgan.
1,682 reviews75 followers
October 19, 2017
I was a little bit torn in rating this one, but then I thought back on the book and all the times it made me feel things for the characters (mainly wanting to beat them soundly around the head and shoulders with various objects). That was really the only strong feeling that kept cropping up for different characters. Just an urge for violence. Or at least the urge to sit them all down and give them a good talking to about what the hell they're doing wrong.

I think I'm going to go with 3.5 stars marked as 3 stars due to there still being no half stars on goodreads.


This is a retelling of sorts of Wuthering Heights set in the early days of the Civil War. Cathy is Cat and Heathcliff is Stonefield.

I honestly disliked the majority of the characters, although with this one I didn't dislike Cat and Stonefield so much as wanted to clonk their heads together.

Cat's brother, Lu, Dora, and the preacher were all awful.

It was on a much faster timeline than the original as well. No prolonged marriages and grown children and all of that nonsense. Just boiled down to the basics.

I think enjoyment of the original is possibly required for enjoyment here -- otherwise things happen at such a fast clip it feels like there's a lot skipped over.
September 20, 2017
This book was achingly beautiful... The words had a way of dancing around, capturing my attention, and making me want to catch them and place them in a jar for later. It was poetic and lyrical and oh so romantic.

Why not five stars then?
Well, the concept and plot was odd. While I LOVED the ending, I found myself lacking interest during the crazy preacher parts. It came off as a bit confusing and a tad overwhelming... Luckily though, those parts were short enough that the overall feel wasn't wrecked by them.

All in all, if you like your books with unique characters, magical woodsy feels, and a lot of lovey scenes, pick this one up. I highly recommend it. Especially, because of the ending... I love me some dark and twisted sadness.
Profile Image for Asheley T..
1,334 reviews118 followers
October 23, 2019
I became enamored with the cover of Stone Field by Christy Lenzi as soon as I received it in the mail for review because it truly is one of the more stunning covers I've seen in a while. But it wasn't only the outside of this book that had my heart all aflutter. The description of a book...inspired by Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights...set on a farm during the Civil War? Just the sound of it made me feel gleeful. I absolutely love historical fiction, especially when it is set during the Civil War Era. And I adore Wuthering Heights.

Did it meet my expectations? Yes. Stone Field is a worthy retelling of Ms. Bronte's classic - one of the better retellings of any book that I've ever read, actually. Ms. Lenzi's characters touch on those of Wuthering Heights so well and yet they all are strong enough to stand firmly on their own without the famous classic story. They are odd and eccentric and in some cases, unlikable. I could talk for a long time about these two books and how they are similar/different and the very cool ways that Ms. Lenzi retold this story.

But I really want to talk about the historical fiction aspect of this book because I'm obsessed with historical fiction and in Stone Field, you cannot have the retelling without the historical fiction. The two cannot be separated.

The story is set during and around actual events that took place in history: the Civil War, the Missouri Compromise, etc. Good historical fiction, I think, does this - it settles itself around something real so that the reader has some basis for comparison or a starting off point, if you will. Many of us know about these events that led up to the Civil War and in this story, having this time and place was the perfect setting for a tense and almost-angry part of the country that had a volatile political climate. Using the state of Missouri probably couldn't have been a better choice because of the mixture of opinions and beliefs at that exact time.

Along with the romance and the characterization, both of which are very large parts of the retelling aspect, lies this undercurrent of tension and the feeling that a change is about to happen. Roubidoux Hollow is a fictional town that is based on a very real place, so having a community in this story that is divided and split and disagreeable about slaves and about which side to fight for is huge. AND! It is historically accurate. Stone Field, our love interest, is a person of color and because of this, he is a target for soldiers and soldier wannabes all over the area.

There are also people in the story that just want to be left out of the conflict, that do not want to choose a side. There are these huge themes of social/race inequality, gender inequality, religion that are present in here, and to me they seem to make more sense to the story when I think of them in terms of the historical time period and setting versus the retelling aspect.

I think that making Ms. Lenzi's story a historical fiction rather than, say, a contemporary or science fiction, gave it emotional depth and I loved seeing how it all fit together.

Of course, historical fiction doesn't always have characters like Catrina and Stone Field. What I mean is that historical fiction doesn't always have characters that can talk to one another with their minds, without moving their mouths. Characters that fall into a passionate, all-consuming love on first glance, without even having to have a conversation to know they're the one for each other. These little details fall back into the realm of this particular retelling, but they do make this historical fiction more interesting, particularly for readers that also enjoy Wuthering Heights.

Ultimately, I loved this story. I read this and immediately wanted to pick up the classic once again. It was thrilling in some parts and some parts were tragic. It required suspension of disbelief (just like the original classic does) and is not perfect. But it has lovely language and a compelling plot. It also has historical significance in the YA market. This book is possibly (probably?) not for everyone. Some readers will not make it past the love that Catrina has for Stone Field when she sees him for the first time. But I can imagine that many or hopefully most fans of the original classic will appreciate this retelling as a pretty doggone good one. I mean, I want the people that read this one to see the things in it that I do.

I think it is just as safe and accurate to see this book as a historical fiction than as a retelling, and I would like for historical fiction readers to know this. Loving Wuthering Heights probably makes loving this one a unique experience, but you do not have to know or have read the original classic to read and love this book.

I recommend Stone Field for readers that enjoy retellings, historical fiction, unreliable narrators, and an interesting, diverse cast of characters.
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