Welcome to the first of the Crowvus Classics Book Reviews!
"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte isn't just one of my favourite classic books, it is my favourite book of all time. So it is no wonder that I have chosen to start this new series of book reviews with this amazing novel.
|"Wuthering Heights" Book Cover|
Although it is a fabulous book, I have never seen a screen version that I liked. To me, they are all dry and lifeless in comparison. So if you've watched a version of this and thought that you wouldn't like the book, try reading it all the same.
Emily Bronte transports us to the wild, dismal yet beautiful world of the Yorkshire moors where she develops characters so 3D that it's like they are reading the book with us. I am left wondering as I reach the last page, whether this story came entirely from imagination or if, in the depths of history long forgotten, there really were Heathcliff and Cathy-like characters in Emily's dad's parish.
But for me, the most wonderful part of the book is the hope that is contained within it. My sisters disagree (having not read the book) but I think it does have a happy ending. Without wanting to give anything away, the ending ties up the story with the knowledge that whatever went wrong in previous generations is put right by honesty and goodness. I would argue with anyone who says that Heathcliff and Cathy were good or nice people - they were vile. But that doesn't mean that the next generation would be, and that they can't have a version of happily-ever-after. It's this hope that I think really makes the book my ultimate favourite. So many film adaptations miss out the part with their children but I think they are completely missing the point of the whole book.
I admit that some of the speech is difficult to follow. The author wrote Joseph's speech in dialect, with a strong Yorkshire accent. While this adds to the character, the reading really has to read parts aloud to fully understand what is being said.
Well, there's my rather opinionated opinion! A book that can conjure such emotions is pure magic.
Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
"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. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature."
Crowvus Classics Book Reviews will be on the first Saturday of the month.
April: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins