After discovering that her mother, Catherine Eversole Price, had not died, as her father told her, but instead deserted the family and then disappeared, 17-year-old Chelsea Price goes on a quest to find out what happened to her.
The narrative, a loose-limbed take on Wuthering Heights, is told in the alternating, first-person voices of daughter and mother. However, the emotional heart of the story belongs to Catherine, who as a senior in high school, was a young woman torn between an all-encompassing love for musician Hence and a desire to pursue her own ambitions. The story is set in motion when Chelsea unearths a 14-year-old letter from her mother. The return address leads her to Manhattan’s Lower East Side and a legendary rock club called The Underground. There she meets the adult Hence, now the club’s owner. Hence is a furious exposed nerve of a man, but surprisingly, he shows, if not a soft spot, then at least a less-hard one toward Chelsea, who greatly resembles her mother. The strands of mother’s and daughter’s stories come together during the suspenseful climax, when Chelsea discovers what actually happened to Catherine and gains a measure of peace and maturity.
Not as emotionally engaging as readers might desire, but solid and well-told. (Fiction. 15 & up)