.

.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wow! What a fantastically unputdownable novel!  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte has got to be one of my favorite reads this year.  It is engrossing, suspenseful, and slightly spooky - perfect for my first foray into the gothic novel.  And, also a perfect read for R.I.P. VII.   Actually, now that I think about it, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters was my first gothic novel...oh well...Bronte's work can be my first classic gothic novel.  Anyhow, I digress.

As I had mentioned in a previous post about the first few chapters of this book, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Would the book be dull? Would the characters just whinge about the weather and hiring a new footman?  How spooky would the story be?  Who were Catherine and Heathcliff?  Why was everyone so bloody obsessed with their story? And then, I began to read the book and as I got more and more involved in the story, I sort of became obsessed, too.  I couldn't stop reading and then I would stop, because I wanted to parcel out what remained of the story and make it last as long as I could.  Mind you, this was a read-a-long I was participating in, so I tried to keep up at the group's pace.  Of course, I couldn't slow down for long and today I finally finished reading Wuthering Heights. I have to say, I'm not sure what I make of it now that I know how it ends.  I suppose its fitting the way things turned out for Catherine and Heathcliff.

So, what exactly happens in Wuthering Heights?   Basically, you have two characters that are so obsessed with one another, they are convinced that they will wind up together in the afterlife.  These characters are Catherine and Heathcliff.  From their childhood to their adulthood, these two are inseparable.  Even after Heathcliff runs away, Catherine carries her love for him in her heart and soul.  She winds up married to a nice man, but as soon as Heathcliff re-enters her life, she pushes aside her husband and clutches on to Heathcliff and refuses to let go.  Of course, unhappy that she is married, Heathcliff decides to be spiteful and marries Catherine's sister-in-law, Isabella.  Of course both marriages are shams and cannot cover up the fact that both Catherine and Heathcliff are besotted with one another and will somehow wind up together no matter what.  Dramatics ensue and people become ill, a baby is born, someone dies, threats are made, another child is born, someone else dies, and more threats are made - it is truly the stuff of an epic soap opera.  Seriously, it is.  The over top manner in which the characters carry themselves and the antics they provide, all make for quite a delicious read.  We have someone locking themselves away and refusing food all in a bid to get their loved one's attention; and then we have another person tricking someone into meeting them, all in an effort to wind up holding them hostage.  Its really quite thrilling.  And in the end we have Catherine and Heathcliff together again.  Buried side by side, the couple can now rest in peace for eternity.  Oh, and townsfolk say that if you take a walk near Wuthering Heights, you can see a couple wandering around together, a couple that looks just like Catherine and Heathcliff.   Pretty creepy, eh?  I suppose that they got what they wanted in the end - each other.  So, I do believe that after all the drama, the ending was quite a fitting one.  Not even death could keep Catherine and Heathcliff apart - their love was too strong.

Doesn't that just sound crazy, but also interesting?  Because, let me tell you, it really is.  This is a book that is very well written, has a cast of unforgettable characters, and a story that is so outlandish you will truly enjoy reading it.  Emily Bronte has created a story about love, greed, money, storytelling, death, the afterlife, and so much more.  There are parts that will surprise and shock you, and other parts that if you don't pay close enough attention to, you just might blink and miss them.  Now, I didn't go into all the details of what happens in the book, nor did I mention any of the other characters (except for Isabella), because I want you to experience this book for yourself.  I want you to get the chance to feel creeped out by that scene when Lockwood stays over at Wuthering Heights and I want you to be just as shocked as I was at Heathcliff's cruelty.  Basically, I want you to fall in love with the book just as much as I did.  So, definitely check it out when you get the chance.  It will definitely be one of your reading highlights!

And now, this makes my third read for R.I.P. VII , which means that I have just one more to go! Hurrah!  What shall I read next? I'm thinking, The Twelve (which I just got in the post!!).  Happy reading!!

23 comments:

Mabel said...

I'm excited you liked this one! :-)

Beth said...

I never finished this one but now I know I need to go back. I know it was much more thrilling than other words by the Bronte sisters, but I think I had too much going on. I'll be sure to read the whole review once I try again!

Carole said...

Great. How about linking in to Books You Loved: October? Have a great week!

Nadia said...

Mabel, thanks! It was such a great read :)

Beth, definitely go back and try it again - its worth it. Sometimes that happens to me - I'm just not clicking with a book because I'm not in the right mindframe for it or I'm too busy, but when I go back, I wind up loving it.

Carole, thanks! You too!

Jennifer Hartling said...

This is on my Classics Club list and I can't wait to get to it!!

Nadia said...

Jennifer, you will love it! Such a great read!

Dot said...

I love this book! So glad you enjoyed it!

Nadia said...

Dot, it was so much better than I expected it to be ;)

bermudaonion said...

I read this years ago because I'd heard so much about it and just thought it was okay. I did like the main character's name though.

claire said...

Yay! I'm so excited about your excitement! This book never fails to excite me, too. It was my first ever book that I "overwhelmingly" loved, when I was about 11 or 12 (I read it because I was a Nancy Drew addict and it was Nancy Drew's favourite book haha). So I've read it more than a few times since and still get sentimental over it. Isn't it so beautifully wild and melancholy? I feel like picking it up now, after reading your gushing review. I remember posting about the Bronte sisters once, about Emily being my favourite, so many reactions in the comments about how they disliked her book and how they were partial to Charlotte and Anne instead. I feel happy when other bloggers defend Emily and this book!

Speaking of gothic lit, have you read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield? I'm planning to read Du Maurier's Rebecca soon..

Rachel Bradford said...

I'm ashamed to say this is one book I ought to have read but never did! I've always been a bit wary of the "type" of romance portrayed. But I shouldn't judge until I read, should I? ;)

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, I figured you'd like the name ;)

claire, thanks! Glad to find another fan of this book. It is definitely "beautifully wild and melancholy" - those words are a perfect way to describe it! I have read Setterfield's book and really enjoyed it. I need to read Rebecca - I hear it is fantastic! As for being partial to Emily - I'm with you on that front!

Rachel, I tend to judge and not read, so who I am to say anything. However, as I have just read this one, I will say it is worth a read and the romance is there, but not like I expected it to be. Definitely not all lovely dovey, if that is what you are thinking.

Lisa said...

I've read this one a couple of times and struggle with it. I appreciate the writing, but I cannot understand why either Catherine or Heathcliff likes the other one at all - they are both such awful people!

Nadia said...

Lisa, its really the writing that makes this book so good. Because, like you I couldn't stand the characters. Catherine and Heathcliff are awful people, maybe that's why they loved each other - on one else ever would. LOL!

Ti said...

I read this one as part of a read along and it was good for that, but man...these people were whacked! The names were hard to keep track of. I had to refer to the family tree posted online numerous times.

Nadia said...

Ti, they are definitely whacked! I don't even know how Nelly put up with all their craziness!

Bellezza said...

I felt exactly as you the first time I read it over twenty years ago. Then, in my latest reread of two years ago I tired of the obsession he had for the last three-fourths of the novel. Yet what is a novel based on love if not an obsessive story of some kind? This one is especially atmospheric, and I do love that.

Brenda said...

Given that this woman had limited life experience, I thought this book was extremely imaginative and well written. One of my favorites.

Nadia said...

Bellezza, atmospheric is the perfect word to describe this novel, because that is just what it is. And, I do agree that Heathcliff's obsession did get rather tiresome after awhile ;)

Brenda, that is such a good point! I have to agree with you - she definitely was quite creative and constructed a very entertaining and engaging story :)

Kitchen worktops guy said...

My all-time favourite novel! What did you think of the framing device - having the story begin "outside" the story?

Nadia said...

KWG, I have to say that I really enjoyed the way the story is told - it added another level of suspense. Definitely, one of my new favorite reads ;)

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

As an English major, I am loathe to admit that I have never read Wuthering Heights. It is, however, on my classics-that-need-to-be-read list! I'm glad you liked it so well.
2 Kids and Tired Books

Nadia said...

Holly, I was an English major, too and I never read it while in college or grad school - in fact, I was never into classics at all when I was in school. Its crazy to me that now I want to read those types of books :)