BOOK REVIEW: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
I know this book is commonly read in classrooms throughout the world, but it has taken me 34 years to read it myself. Through Jane Austen novels and shows set in Great Britain during the same time period, I have learned some of the delicate customs and cultures of that period. I believe such knowledge--even the few basics I've picked up--is important to really enjoy and appreciate novels like this one.
Even without it this novel is an emotional roller coaster that pulls at the heartstrings. Mr Earnshaw, father of Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw, brings home a neglected child and names him Heathcliff. He and Hindley become terrible enemies while he and Catherine grow to love each other immensely, rolling in the mud and causing mischief. When they reach adulthood, Heathcliff, “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.”
And revenge he exacts, taking diabolical pleasure in ruining the lives of Hindley and his posterity, as well as Catherine’s. It is painful, to say the least. You want to shout “NO!” as he maniacally tears down the lives of good people and steals all lands and properties from the Earnshaw line. There is such violence to make your stomach churn, but it also adds depth and a sense of realness to the story. Thank goodness the book ends happily, which could only happen when the villain (and a WONDERFUL villain he is as villains go) is removed from the story.
Overall it was pretty darn good. I was intrigued from the beginning until the end, though I was hoping for a little bigger ending. Although it wasn’t “big”, it was mostly satisfying. You grow to love a couple generations of Earnshaw’s as well as the incredibly beautiful setting Brontë creates. PG rated and 317 pages, this book gets 4.4 stars from me.