Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

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STAR RATING: (★★

BLURB: Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: Didn’t have one, and don’t think  I can bring myself to wade through the pages and pages of narrative prose that this book includes.

READ IF YOU LIKE: The Bronte sisters, classics,  gothic horror, love but not romance, repeated sequences of getting in and out of carriages, protagonists that you hate, protagonists that you can’t understand and very long passages describing weather.

PAGE COUNT: Approx 272 (print was v small).

This is something I’ve been wanting to read for a very long time, as an avid lover of Jane Eyre this was my only option for the next novel set in this period. And sadly, although it is deemed to be better than many books from this era (Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Jane Eyre), I really didn’t connect with the book. It came with so many obsessed reviews and high hopes, and the book was wildly different from how it had been suggested to me.

Basically, I hate hate HATED all the characters, and this often (always) stops me from enjoying a book. I thought that Linton (a character who enters halfway through and is like a leech that wont let go of you) is one of the most horrifically pathetic characters ever written into literature. And he isn’t like Heathcliff (main guy), who you love to hate because he’s the mean broody and good looking, strong and assertive man, whereas Linton is a shrivelled, snivelling little thing who is constantly ill. I grew quickly bored of the characters, and felt there was little light or joy brought to this book.

I was expecting one of the greatest love stories of all time (as has often been quoted to me), and yet Cathy, the supposed protagonist of this novel, DIES HALFWAY THROUGH?!?! Her ‘love affair’ with Heathcliff lasts about a page and a half. Entirely unsatisfying, and I was then left with the remains of this book, which, after Heathcliff’s disappearance and Cathy’s death, consists of Linton (see previous point) , and some other irrelevant characters. I came here for a love story!!!!!

Despite all this, this is one of the worlds greatest classics, and you can tell why. Bronte’s agenda was clearly to create a gothic horror storyline in which there was no hope or happiness, and the fact that I had such an aversion to many (all) of the characters is testament to her skill. Basically, at least I had a reaction to it.

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