Book Review: WUTHERING HEIGHTS

wuthering heights coverAuthor: Emily Bronte

Number of Pages: 384

Publisher: Penguin Books

Release Date: 1847

“Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.”

– Goodreads.com

Let me just start by getting this out of the way: THIS NOVEL IS NOT A ROMANTIC LOVE STORY. I’ve read so any reviews and heard so many people gushing about the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff that I honestly thought this book would be adorable. Wuthering Heights is anything but adorable.

This novel is dark, unsettling, dramatic, tumultuous- it reminded me of a storm, wild and intense. The drama of it all was very entertaining, and I felt like I was reading a strange, ridiculous soap opera. Nearly all of the relationships in this story- and certainly the one between Catherine and Heathcliff- are toxic because they don’t like each other for the right reasons. Or, rather, they seem to hardly like each other at all. Why would you want to be with someone that you hate more than half the time? I found myself wondering this throughout the entire novel because it really just didn’t make sense to me. The only character I actually liked in this novel was Nelly, who narrated the majority of the story. She was sort of just a bystander in the whole fiasco so I suppose she can be blamed for not stopping a lot of what happened, but she was pretty much the only one with any sort of common sense. The other characters are ones that you just love to hate, you know? You can’t stand them, but at the same time they’re so entertaining that you don’t really mind reading about them. (Umbridge comes to mind here. If you haven’t known the joy of disliking Umbridge, then you really haven’t lived at all.)

umbridge
Dolores Umbridge… AKA, a horrible pink monster.

I really liked the ghost elements incorporated into the story, although I do wish that they would have been focused on more. Also, I thought it was very clever how the setting (Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange) and the changing weather played such an important role. Moreover, the way that Emily Bronte experimented with multiple generations of the same family was really interesting. It was neat to see how young Catherine was so much like her mother with her short temper and self-righteous attitude. One thing that disappointed me was the ending- I thought it was rather anticlimactic, especially since there’s such a build-up to it. It happens so suddenly and nonchalantly that I almost couldn’t believe it was the actual ending.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience reading my first Bronte novel. Although Wuthering Heights was quite different from what I initially thought it would be like, I nevertheless thought it was entertaining and extremely well written. One thing is for certain, though: I certainly won’t be shipping Catherine and Heathcliff anytime soon!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes! This is a great classic to read even if you’re just getting into the genre. It’s entertaining, really well written, and is a relatively quick read.

What did you think of this book? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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29 responses to “Book Review: WUTHERING HEIGHTS”

  1. I loved this book! It’s definitely not a love story though and it shouldn’t really be marketed as one. I totally agree with you about Catherine and Heathcliff. They are toxic together, but I think that that may be the point. Obsessive and toxic love that basically changed Heathcliff’s life, pretty much for the worse.
    I really, really want to read Jane Eyre but I’ve heard that Emily was the most liberal of the Bronte sisters. So even though everyone goes on and on about Jane Eyre, I’m a little worried that it will pale in comparison to Wuthering Heights.

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    1. I’ve read both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, and think Jane Eyre is much quieter than Wuthering Heights… but still quite liberal for it’s time. Where WH erupts, JE quietly seethes.

      Emily was the more outrageous sister. All of the Bronte’s books are quite liberal though, particularly Anne’s. Charlotte was so scandalised by “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” that she blocked further publication after Anne’s death (though she was arguably also really jealous that Anne was the most successful of the sisters) Anne deals with animal cruelty, alcoholism, domestic abuse, politics, misogyny… pretty liberal for her time.

      Jane Eyre is quietly rebellious… there’s loads of passion and quite a bit of feminism there, with implied sexuality. It’s definitely worth the read =) There’s some amazing lines where Jane just sticks it to the man, I loved her for that. Arguably, Rochester and Jane’s relationship is as messed up as Heathcliff and Cathy’s, for multiple reasons. The Brontes seemed to have dreadful taste in men 😉

      I agree that WH shouldn’t be marketed as a love story! I gave up on it three times before someone told me to read it with the knowledge that the “romance” is insane and everybody is horrible. Once I read it with that in mind, I loved it!

      Sorry to hijack your comment =) I just love talking about the Brontes haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hijack away, I love talking about books! I am totally sold on JE now! I loved how you put that “Where WH erupts, JE quietly seethes.” That was beautiful.
        I’m all for feminist novels and now I do believe I’ll have to give The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall a go. Never heard of it, but if Anne is even more out there than Emily then bring it on!

        Charlotte just had way too many issues with her sisters’ talent. She burnt Emily’s second manuscript so we never got to know what it was!

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  2. I actually own a copy of this book, but every time I go to read it, I end up putting it down for something else… Maybe just not my thing 🙂

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    1. That happened to me the first time I tried to read it! It was a few months ago and I got about 20 pages in and then had to put it down. Giving it a second chance was definitely worth it though! But you’re right, it might just not be your thing. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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  3. I’m so glad you read and enjoyed this Holly! You took my review on board, yayyyyy! They’re so freaking twisted, it’s the worst classic “love story” ever. If I met a man like Heathcliff, I’d be running for the hills 😉
    I agree about the ending. I read it as an audiobook and thought I must have somehow bumped my phone and skipped a chapter, but nope. We don’t even get to see Heathcliff die properly or anything!
    You know what, you know how people (like me) hate Umbridge more than Voldemort? I felt that way about Young Heathcliff. I can vaguely understand Heathcliff being so insane, but YH has no excuse… he’s just vile for the hell of it. That’s why I didn’t like Cathy either!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha that’s a really good point about Young Heathcliff! And I think the younger generation in this novel in general. They’re all so terrible but they don’t really have any reason at all to be. It’s so frustrating!! Then again, I guess it does reflect the fact that there are people like that in real life! haha 🙂

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      1. Young Cathy is silly and spoilt but she doesn’t really make me angry until she’s mean to Hareton. He was so nice to her at first, she had no reason to call him names =( But Young Heathcliff… ugh. He’s disgusting.
        That’s so true! Though hopefully they’re a minor percentage… or they’re in gaol =P

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  4. Ah, Wuthering Heights. I need to read this one ASAP. I read a bit and fell. in. love. It’s such a mysterious story and helps shoo away the prejudices I have with classics being haughty and detached from our everyday experiences. 🙂

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  5. love the umbrage quip. perfectly placed. can’t wait to actually read the book!!
    keepcalmandchiffon.com

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  6. Great review! The book is amazing 🙂

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  7. […] cover of this classic novel is decievingly lighthearted! Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is such a dark, twisted, captivating novel. I need to reread it […]

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  8. I’ve purchases this a while ago because there was a sale and this one was included in it. I haven’t actually started though… It seems like there are so many different opinions of this book, either people hate it or they love it. The only way for me to find out how I’ll find it, is to read it though 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! This novel tends to be really polarizing, so the only way to really know is to read it. I really disliked it when I first read it, but my reading experience the second time around was much better. You just never know! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, that’s so peculiar! I might have to give it a couple of go’s too then:P

        Liked by 1 person

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