Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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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.

This book was recommended to me by my friend Sophie, and it’s one I’ve wanted to read for years. One of my favourite books of all time is Jane Eyre, so naturally I wanted to read this one by another Bronte sister. I also visited the setting of Wuthering Heights years ago, and have wanted to read it more since. I was warned by Sophie that this one isn’t narrated by the person you would expect, and is actually told by a housekeeper to the master of the house, telling the story of Wuthering Heights, which is actually the neighbour’s house.

I definitely have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with not only these characters, but the writing and book in general. I found this such an rollercoaster, not in an emotional sense but more in the sense of finding some of this book highly enjoyable and some of it really difficult to take in and focus on. I read this in audiobook format, and I did really like the narration of it. I just found it so strange that I found some parts 5 stars and other parts so much lower.

He’s more myself than I am.

I found the start of this book really enjoyable, and I loved the Gothic aspects of it. I found throughout this book, the Gothic parts really drew me in and had such an amazing atmosphere. The atmosphere came partly from the setting of the Yorkshire moors, which I adored. However, I found some of the parts of this story difficult to read (or listen to) and I just couldn’t really focus on the story. This book follows a very long time span, and multiple character’s in the same families, and are often referred to by their family names. I actually looked up a character map for this one just to make sure I was following the right people.

I did enjoy the writing, I found it quite accessible and utterly charming, which was a nice surprise. I also feel like reading classic books on audio is something I have been drawn towards recently and is becoming a kind of tradition for me. However, I definitely feel like this book would have been much more enjoyable if it had been told by one of the main characters, not a side character relaying the story years after it happened.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

Overall, I feel very torn about this one and my feelings on it. I would love to watch a movie adaptation soon to get this story a little straighter in my head and see it from a different perspective!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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9 thoughts on “Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

  1. There was a good TV adaptation on ITV featuring Tom Hardy quite a few years ago.
    I love this book, always have, but I think we all need to admit that Cathy and Heathcliffe are bloody awful humans 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that one of the main characters would have been a better narrator. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but I remember that being an issue for me.
    I watched the adaptation with Tom Hardy and liked it a lot, so maybe try that one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree, though I would edge more towards to really actually not liking the book that much; which just sounds like sacrilege for such a famous tragic love story (DON’T TELL ANYONE!) Ha. I also listened to it on audible, but also got lost with the characters and the plot. It was confused. I may need to re-read it again, but like you I need to see a movie of it first, I think. Kat x

    Like

  4. Pingback: June Wrap-Up + July TBR – The Books are Everywhere

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