Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I first read this classic in high school, but I remembered almost nothing about it when I started this re-read. The copy I read was acquired through BookMooch. It took me quite a while to read it...I kept reading magazines instead of the book, so I didn't really start it until June or July, despite having finished my last book during the Read-a-Thon in April. I finally finished it on Tuesday night.

So what did I think of this book? I actually really liked it. I am a huge fan of Gothic novels, and this is the quintessential Gothic romance. Catherine Earnshaw and the man known only as Heathcliff were meant for each other, but when Heathcliff leaves the family home (he was adopted by Catherine's father as a small boy), Catherine marries another. Because of this, Heathcliff spends the rest of his life making everyone around him, especially anyone who had any connection to Catherine, miserable.

I never realized when I first read the book, back in high school, just how abusive Heathcliff is. There is honestly no other word for it. He is mentally, physically, and emotionally abusive to anyone within his charge. Despite Heathcliff's evil nature, however, or maybe because of it - a major theme in the book is the contrast between life at Wuthering Heights - the wild, depressing, GOTHIC home of Mr. Heathcliff - and Thrushcross Grange - the civilized domicile of the Earnshaw family - I still very much enjoyed the book. It was dark and foreboding. You always felt that something terrible was about to happen, and you were kept on the edge of your seat waiting for it to occur.

Recommended for those who enjoy classics or Gothic novels. Four out of five Whatevers.


No comments: