31 Jan 2011

Review: "Wuthering Heights" - Wuthering emotions

Let me come clean straight away and admit that I read Emily Bronte's classic "Wuthering Heights" as part of Back to the Classics 2011 Challenge. I know that I should have read this before but I never got around to it so now seemed as a good time. What's more I have it in a really pretty hardback edition given to my by my wonderful Li'l Sis who is as addicted to books as I am.
This book was quite a read. The emotions run so high and I felt drained at times while reading it, constantly dreading the mental terror that was looming on the next page.

The story is a love story but not your regular man-meets-woman-and-they-end-up-happy story. This is the story of love gone wrong and of the intense relationship between love and hate. The plot is complicated though it's involves only few characters. However, I will give a very limited summary of some of the plot because I don't want to give too much away for those of you who haven't read this classic.
When Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw's father brings home an orphaned child to the family, he starts a life-long drama that will last a long way into the next generation. Earnshaw openly favours the orphan Heathcliff who is also a favourite of Catherine, they are best friends and sweethearts until the day Catherine's eyes are opened to the neighbouring family, the Lintons. Suddenly Catherine's allegiance sways and she favours Edgar Linton over Heathcliff. Heathcliff leaves the neighbourhood brokenhearted but years later he returns to revenge the pain that has been inflicted on him by jealous Hindley and flighty Catherine. Catherine is torn between her husband Edgar and her love of Heathcliff and Heathcliff is so obsessed by his hatred of Linton that he ends up concoting a scheme to take over everything that has belonged to the Earnshaw's and the Linton's, not caring who will have to pay the price for his broken heart.

Being honest, you would have to be made of stone not to be touched by this story. It is so full of raw emotions. The story takes place on the North English moors where nature rules, just as the emotions rules the space between Catherine and Heathcliff. Their love is almost an insanity and it craves large sacrifices and it was those sacrifices that touched me most and deepest.
Love seems to be a force to which all most bow and everything else must give way. And the children must pay for the folly of their parents, their punishment being almost Biblical as they become pawns in the game of Heathcliff.
It is disturbing reading but addictive and the ending took me by surprise. It is beautiful and raw and full of real emotions. Tired of washed-out paranormal teenage love? Then this is the perfect cure!

P.S. Don't miss out on this beautiful Kate Bush song Wuthering Heights


  1. While I agree with most of your review, I didn't love this book. I was just neutral about it. I felt like the second half lacked a lot of pace and I just couldn't understand WHY Cathy and Heathcliff loved each other.

  2. I LOVED this book. You're quite right - raw emotions literally flay you alive. I was terrified but enraptured. What a good story.

    I agree with Sam though - never could get the WHY of the love, but was willing to accept it anyways.

  3. I agree with both of you. I found it hard to understand why love had blossomed - and so strongly. But then again Catherine and Heathcliff are so secluded from the world. They know nothing of what goes on outside of their own reality. Maybe that's why the bond formed is so strong?

  4. I thought someone would crack a smile, but maybe I'm missing the joke.

    "Tired of washed-out paranormal teenage love?" But Wuthering Heights is the favorite book of Bella & Edward! It became a best-seller in France because of a Twilight tie-in edition.

    If Heathcliff and Catherine are supernatural creatures - an ogre and an elf - their distance from humanity becomes easier to understand.