Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BRIEF CANDLE by Kate Pennington


by Kate Pennington

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 0-340-87370-1
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Breathlessly described as the pseudonym of a bestselling author, one Kate Pennington spins a meretricious fictionalization of the lives of the Brontë family. Framed by the fractured memories of a servant named Tabitha, the young Brontës (Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their brother Branwell) try to study and teach each other, making up fabulous stories and tales to keep away the grayness of their lives as motherless curate’s children. Emily loves the heathered moors deeply, and roams them with her dog Captain. It’s while exploring that Emily comes across Heslington, an outcast from another house, who’s in love with that family’s daughter, Martha. Basically, the entire story of Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights is retold as a series of unfortunate events involving Martha and Heslington; Emily is a witness and reluctant participant. This endeavor completely undercuts the imagination of the remarkable trio of sibling writers and turns it into a trivial recasting of local historical gossip. Ugh. (Historical fiction. 12+)