Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
Pages: 384
Published: 1985 (Originally published 1847; my actual copy is different then one pictured; am just using this photo because I have it in my album)
Genre: Classic, Historical fiction, Gothic
Challenges: The Classics Club, readalong through Unputdownables, Historical Challenge
Edition: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Description: It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls in love with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family. (via Goodreads.com)

Thoughts: I first read this book when I was about 14 years old and at the time, I couldn't make sense of it and by the end of the book, I was wanting to throw the book across the room and probably because of the fact that I was unable to get myself to read the book again.  Of course I was able to understand it more after watching the BBC miniseries that came out a few years ago, I was able to make more sense of the story and the readalong that I participated through Unputdownables really helped me understand the story that much more.  And based on this last reading of the book, I was able to give the book a full appreciation of really how good the book was and it makes me wonder that if Emily had been able to live for a long time, how good her work could have become.  Maybe she would have become a one-hit wonder, or maybe she would have been a prolific writer, like her sister Charlotte, who wrote a number of well-known books through out her lifetime.

One thing that I liked about the book was that the book was basically told like a story that is being related to another individual.  I realize that this is stating the obvious, but understanding this fact, helps with the reading of the book, because you don't see Mr. Lockwood that much and hear mostly Nelly's retelling of the story between the two families that clearly dominate the area.  Another thing that I like about the book is that its a very complex novel, despite the fact that it really is a pretty simple story line. And that Emily Bronte is able to bring out complex emotions in not only her characters that are so vivid for a number of reasons, but also complex emotions in those that read the book.  Its almost a love-hate relationship with the book; there are characters that I absolutely adore and want more of (Cathy Linton [not her mom, who is also named Catherine]) and there are characters that I really do come to loathe (Heathcliff and Isabelle Linton-Heathcliff and possibly Edgar Linton).  

There also something extremely dark that kept me wanting to find out what it was and it felt like you got absorbed into that world, just like Cathy [the daughter] did after coming to Wuthering Heights. I think what Bronte does effectively is create a world that is both foreboding, but also inviting, almost like she is seducing the reader to continue on with the book, as though there is something forbidden behind the front doors of Wuthering Heights.

Bottom line: If you enjoy books that have a gothic feel to them, you will enjoy this.  I would say that if you are new to the classics, you may want to hold off on the book for a bit, as it is a bit complex and maybe something lighter would be easier to digest.

Rating:  4/5

Pages for 2012: 19265

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