Classics · Drama · Fiction

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

What is it about?

Wuthering Heights is less a love story and more a horror story soap opera about the ugly side of love. Heathcliff and Cathy, it seems, are destined for one another, the biggest pair of star-crossed lovers since Romeo and his Juliet; only, they don’t end up together. When Cathy (who is certainly no angel) chooses the local big cheese over her beloved Heathcliff, Heathcliff loses what little humanity he has and spends the rest of his days exacting his revenge in a very roundabout and vindictive way. On the wild Yorkshire moors, can anyone have a happy ending?

Is it any good?

Unlike a lot of classics, Wuthering Heights is very easy to both read and follow, even if it is quite hard to understand when Brontë phonetically spells out dialogue.  It certainly is a brave and bold move on the author’s part to make the two main characters  entirely impossible to like – neither Cathy or Heathcliff have any kind of redeeming qualities – but it also sort of works. Flawed characters are great for realism, and the characters’ individual journeys to becoming who they (largely for the worse than for the better) is believable – Cathy is somewhat spoiled as a child, whilst Heathcliff gets the opposite treatment. The use of Nelly, Cathy’s family’s maid/nurse, as narrator works brilliantly and reminds me of Nick’s narration in The Great Gatsby. However, it does feel like Wuthering Heights lacks an ending, like it’s all journey with no destination; what is the point? Or maybe, that in itself, is the point. Anyway, if you’re looking for too-gritty-to-be-real realism this is the book for you – if you’re looking for Austen-style romance, then maybe not.

Rating: 7/10

How long did it take to read: eight days

For fans of: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare, soap operas

This book tastes like: green apples


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