I think Wuthering Heights could be the most original book I've ever read, I see why it’s stood the test of time for so long. With Characters like Heathcliff and Catherine being such anti-heroes it made for an intriguing and intense read, I can only imagine the controversy it must have created back in 1847.
I’ve decided not to look at any of the Goodreads reviews in risk of it swaying my opinion; I wanted to write what I felt now, after I've just finished it. This review is freshly squeezed from my memory.
I admit it took me a long time to get into it and was very confused by the narration, my mum had to clarify to me that the first narrator was actually a man as I thought it was a girl for some unknown reason. But once I got into it I couldn’t stop, I don’t know if I was enjoying it or just pushing on in horror, the story was so gripping I lost count how many times I read into the wee hours of the morning.
The tale is told to us by the maid of Wuthering Heights, Nelly Dean and she tells us how she lived with the Catherine and her servant Heathcliff when they were children. And how Catherine could not marry Heathcliff even though she wanted to but Society did not approve of it. The heartbroken Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights and this is where the story really begins.
I read on in horror as Heathcliff returned as a seemingly well mannered Gentleman but quite quickly he showed his true colors inside I believed he was evil I also thought the transformation was too quick there was no build up from good to evil, but I guess that could have been intended, I know a lot of people say if you read the book without any judgments its beautiful. And I tried that but I just could not see any redeemable qualities in him, he ruined too many peoples life’s and enjoyed it, he beat old men and girls up, brainwashed his family, kidnapped people and all kinds of horrible things.
I wasn’t expecting this book to be such a bloodbath even the characters that are ruined by Heathcliff somehow at the end do something redeemable, but Heathcliff couldn’t, he never learnt from those who he destroyed, he still let his hatred control his life.
I loved Isabella and I thought it was beyond mean what happened to her and how her brother abandoned her. We all make mistakes and I didn’t think Isabella deserved to be judged so harshly when she innocently developed a crush on Heathcliff. But she was one of the few characters who managed to reduce Heathcliff to tears which I felt he truly deserved and he still didn’t get half of what he deserved. And I really liked the dynamic between Isabella and Hindly, though their page time together was so short their mutual respect for each other was one of the biggest impacts I felt from the book.
All in all I think Emily Bronte deserves five stars as the characters she created have paved the way for generations of inspiration. And she quite possibly created the most hated character of all time. It was an experience I’ve never felt before when reading a book and I doubt I’ll ever forget.