Wow. This is one book that took some effort to read but I did it. I finished reading this book in April of 2009 while we were still living in England. I am so glad I did.
This book was written in 1845 and 1846; published in 1847, but only after the apparent success of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Sisters, the authors both wrote their books under pseudonyms; Charlotte wrote as Currer Bell and Emily as Ellis Bell. It was written as two separate installments. Wuthering Heights was met with much hatred and an outcry from many. It has been banned many times over. Readers have been appalled by the book's expositions: sexual intimacy, burning hatred, supernatural appearances, and a strong female lead. However, those are all topics that also attract readers...
Before reading this book be warned, six of the characters share three names. It took me a lot of time, from the very beginning of the book to figure out WHO everyone was. Once I'd done that I found that Emily Brontë had woven a web that I wanted to see untangled; I was compelled to keep reading.
Many people either love or hate this book. I didn't really expect to like it, at all. But I have to say that I did. I really enjoyed it. I also sort of enjoyed the fact that it took a bit of intelligence to figure out what the heck was going on. Completing it felt rewarding; I felt I had accomplished something.
As time goes on I am all the more happy that I read it. The cultural awareness it has afforded me has been tremendous. The book's character "Heathcliff" is referenced in so many places in our culture and moreso in British culture. I can comprehend the mass hatred for him although I can also understand what drove him to be such a hateful creature. That is only possible because the book was so well written.
The plotline wraps up with the pivotal death of a character but without the greatly expected traditional Gothic turmoil; that was taken care of earlier in the book. The ending brings a final unity of souls that was never achieved before in the telling.
One need not be depraved to enjoy reading such a book. The depth of this piece of writing is nothing less than incredible. Hatred and abuse breed further hatred and abuse; hatred kills spirits as well as physical bodies. Therefore, conversely, love embodies and equal and opposite power; the power of life.
This epic tale is one of love and hate; need, revenge, and restlessness.
My Review of a film adaptation ~ Masterpiece Classic Wuthering Heights