Caryl Phillips revisits Emily Bronte’s masterpiece “Wuthering Heights” as a lyrical tale of orphans and outcasts, absence and hope. A sweeping novel spanning generations, “The Lost Child “tells the story of young Heathcliff’s life before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family; the Bronte sisters and their wayward brother, Branwell; Monica, whose father forces her to choose between her family and the foreigner she loves; and a boy’s disappearance into the wildness of the moors and the brother he leaves behind.
Phillips deftly spins these disparate lives bound by the past and struggling to liberate themselves from it into a stunning literary work. Phillips has been called in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul (Donna Seaman, “Booklist”), and his work is charged with the complexities of migration, alienation, and displacement. Haunting and heartbreaking, “The Lost Child” transforms a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.