On the eve of the 2016 Bronte bicentenary, we’re launching Alison Case’s debut novel Nelly Dean, at once an enthralling literary tale, and a clever, rich testament to Bronte’s work. Join us on a journey that reimagines life at Wuthering Heights, as seen through the eyes of the Earnshaws’ loyal servant, Nelly Dean.
Young Nelly Dean has been Hindley’s closest companion for as long as she can remember: as long as she has been victim to the lashing out of her father’s hand, and as long as she has lived freely at the great house, Wuthering Heights, at her mother’s insistence.
When the benevolent master, Mr. Earnshaw, brings a wild child into the house, Nelly must give up playing with her beloved Hindley and be called servant, following in her mother’s footsteps to give herself to the family.
Soon Nelly is not the only one in the house who must serve. As Hindley takes his place as heir apparent, Heathcliff is rejected and a reign of violence begins that cannot be stopped, even by the will of Nelly herself. And when the new heir of Wuthering Heights is born, Nelly will be tested like never before, as she finds out what it is to truly ‘know thy master’, and in doing so, know great sacrifice.
Tracy Chevalier describes it best: ‘Alison Case has cracked open Wuthering Heights and inserted into the gaps her own richly imagined story. In doing so she manages to pay homage to Emily Bronte without copying her. I never thought I needed more Wuthering Heights. Now I wonder how I could have been satisfied with only the original telling.’
With grace, subtlety and no shortage of suspense Alison takes on the challenges and controversy of reviving the eponymous narrator for her companion volume. Nelly Dean is gripping, heart-breaking historical fiction that will delight fans of Tracy Chevalier, Jo Baker’s Longbourn and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist.