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!!