I was first introduced to this book in high school and I LOVED it. I think I read it again a few years later but I can't remember for sure. Recently I've seen reviews by several bloggers (some who hated it, some who loved it, some who had mixed reactions) and I've watched the new TV version. All this combined to make me want to revisit this book.
I'm going to assume you have all at least heard of WUTHERING HEIGHTS. If not, you can get a complete plot summary at this website, but be wary of spoilers.
Rather than a traditional review I'm going to post a list of the things that got my attention or crossed my mind as I listened to this very familiar (to me) story.
Let's start off with the characters themselves:
- Mr. Lockwood - I had completely forgotten that he was the narrator of this story. Not much to say about him really ...
- Catherine Earnshaw - spoiled and petted by her father, allow to run wild - her behavior doesn't surprise me based on her background - I don't necessarily like her but I do understand her
- Hindley Earnshaw - didn't like him back then, don't like him now - he's a bully and a brute
- Heathcliff - I've got lots to say about him! He is cruel and mean, obsessed with Catherine, careless of others, vengeful, calculating, and so on. HOWEVER, I still like him. (Shocking, I know.) What I mean to say is that if I were Catherine, I'd likely have loved him as much as she did - in spite of his horrid behavior - simply because of the "connection" that is so apparent between the two of them. I like his behavior even less after Catherine's death, but I still pity him and have compassion for him despite it all.
- Joseph - I remember his accent being very difficult to read so listening to him was much easier. Don't like him though - he uses his religion as a weapon and he is mean and cruel.
- Nelly - You've got to love Nelly. I didn't remember that she was only a bit older than Catherine at the start of the story - no wonder Catherine didn't want to listen to her! Nelly is kind-hearted and loving, and does her best to care for those in her charge.
- Edgar Linton - Eh, not much to say about Edgar. He still seems like a pretty-boy to me, and a pushover as well. I don't particularly like him nor do I dislike him. He IS an excellent father though, and I enjoyed his interactions with his daughter Cathy.
- Isabella Linton - Typical spoiled girl, wanting what she can't/shouldn't have. Why is it that good girls are always attracted to bad boys? (Been there, done that.) I do pity her for the horrors Heathcliff puts her through though.
- Hareton Earnshaw - He is my very favorite character, the one I love without reservation. He is essentially a good boy and it is only his circumstances that cause him to be mean. I'm always thrilled when he is in the story. I didn't remember that he hit Cathy - that was shocking this time around. Still like him though.
- Linton Heathcliff - Can't stand this kid. He's sickly and weak - which isn't his fault - but he's also peevish (love that word), demanding and cruel, and has no redeeming qualities.
- Cathy Linton - At first I like her, then she irritates me, then I like her again, and so on throughout her portion of the book. I have to like her in the end though, because she finally sees the true nature of Hareton (and he's my very favorite).
- Catherine's declaration of love and need for Heathcliff - "He is me and I am him" and her assertion that if one of them died that one would continue to exist as long as the other lives - I love this section! It shows the powerful and irrational connection between the two characters that forms the basis for the entire story. I could listen to that section over and over again - the writing is powerful and beautiful. Catherine's similar speech when she is deliriously ill is another favorite section for me, for all the same reasons.
- In my opinion Heathcliff and Catherine's obsessive and destructive relationship stems in part from the wildness of their upbringing. They had little guidance and were allowed to run free and do as they chose most of the time. If other children were put into that situation, would they turn out the same? Or is there something different about these two?
- Nelly is only 27 years old when Hindley dies - again, I didn't realize how young she was through most of the book.
- As I said above, I really like Hareton - the portions of the book that focus on he and Cathy are my favorites.
I am SO GLAD that I revisited this book. I love it as much today as I did back in high school. It boggles my mind that so many of you don't like this book at all - it truly is one of my all-time favorites. But I'll forgive YOU if you promise to forgive ME for not being interested in books by Neil Gaiman or Suzanne Collins. ~LOL~
As a side note, I'm not usually drawn to book covers but I had to show you the Kindle cover I saw online - isn't it gorgeous?!
Please chime in with your thoughts on this classic book. Do you love it like me or do you think I'm nuts? Have you reviewed it? Post your comments and tell me what you think - I've been really good about responding to all comments recently so let's chat!