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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte,
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This review is from: Wuthering Heights (Kindle Edition)
It is so hard to know where to start with this book. It is renowned as one of the world's greatest love stories with the infamous Heathcliff and Cathy as its main protagonists but there is so much more to it than that. It is not only a story of unrequited love but also it is a dark tale of revenge.
The setting of the novel on the Yorkshire moors sets the tone of the story. It is dark, remote and the weather is harsh and unforgiving. The two households of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange seem to have little to do with the outside world. There is none of the usual social whirl of dinner and dancing that other 19th century literature has. The cast of this novel are deserted and at one another's mercy. The book is also deliberately confusing creating a sense of unease in the reader. The narrator is a visitor to Thrushcross Grange listening to the stories of long-term housekeeper Nelly Dean. The names of the characters are hard to keep track of - we have Catherine and Cathy, Hindley, Hareton & Heathcliff, the Linton family and Linton Heathcliff. The driving force of the novel is Heathcliff, utterly destroyed by the death of Catherine and intent on revenge. He manipulates Hindley and robs Hareton of his birthright. But its not just Heathcliff who is the anti-hero. Cathy is spoilt and nasty, the young Linton is weak, disloyal and coniving. Love does triumph in the end with an unlikely pairing, but the reader is still haunted by all that has gone before.
This was the third time I have read Wuthering Heights. The first time was as a teenager when I found the language difficult and didn't really get to grips with the story. The second time was 7 years ago - I remember reading it in the garden when my son was a baby - and I was blown away by the intensity of Heathcliff's love and his ruthlessness and evil intentions. This time round I still love the book. It didn't blow me away like last time but it stands out from the other books written around the same time. They say you either love it or loathe it and I think therefore I must love it.