I had not previously read Wuthering Heights somehow. I guess it wasn't on the list of classics we read in high school and I just never picked it up. I read it this month as our book club selection. I must admit I understand why it is a classic and I appreciate the depth of the writing and the storytelling. It is amazing a woman wrote this is the 1800s and I understand why it was published under a pen name. The characters are well developed and their are some very strong willed women in the story- something I imagine was rather out of the ordinary for the time. That being said I disliked the characters immensely. I did not like their personalities or their morals. I am guessing this was supposed to be the reader's reaction and it is definitely achieved. Bronte does a wonderful job of showing the difference in the classes in the era and the frivolousness of some of the wealthy. Modern versions of "privilege" complaints should read the classics to see the true disparity and lack of ability to rise above one's class of birth.
The descriptions of the moors and the setting surrounding Wuthering Heights is such that it is easy to visualize the sparseness and the despair the environment can cast on the characters. Discussion questions raise the query as to whether the moors are themselves a character in the story. They definitely play an important role for certain.
The aspect of the story that surprised me the most relates to observations and comments about the story as I have heard through my lifetime. Heathcliff and Catherine are portrayed in a manner that implies this novel is a romance. Definitely a shock if that is the reader's expectation. Also, I have never seen the movie but in our discussions at book club it became apparent that the original Laurence Olivier version their are major screenplay liberties taken and characters who play a large role excluded from the plot. It sounds as though the movie is where the misconception of the romance story originates.
This classic definitely uses old language and reading it on kindle has many advantages as you have the built in dictionary to look up words quickly. All in all this was a good read and I am glad to have experienced another classic but won't be running out to read those over cozy mysteries in a big hurry.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had never read this classic before and I must admit that from hearing about the book and references over the years I would have thought it was a romance. Heathcliff and Catherine have been glamorized and romanticized in comments and definitely in cinema. Wow reading this book could not be a bigger shock to how not a romance story it really is. I truly cannot stomach any of the characters except Nelly, the narrator. The abhorrent behaviors of many of the characters make them unlikeable. That being said I totally understand why this is a classic and the level of complexity of the novel is quite apparent. Bronte obviously writes an amazing story to draw that level of emotions out of the reader even if it is a distaste versus liking the characters. Her level of descriptions of the moors and the environment definitely creating a setting of desolation and despair. I must say though that anyone who tells you this is a story of a love affair has only watched the movie for sure. A perfect dark read for the month of October.
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Library Love #LibraryLoveChallenge Book # 86
- 2022TBR #2022ReadingChallenge # 3 Friend Recommendation
- Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022 Book #105
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #77
- Historic Fiction #histficreadingchallenge Book #10
- 52 Book Club #the52bookclub #32 A book that intimidates you
- BooklistQueen #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022 #37. Classic You’ve Avoided
- Beat the Backlist #BTB2022 #9 everyone has read it but you
- Nerdy Bookworm #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #48 Read a classic
- Nancy Drew # 14. The Whispering Statue (1937) - read a book that has been recommended to you
- Pick your Poison #17 a classic novel
- RAD challenge #aradreadingchallenge #9 Reread a Book from High School
- Century challenge