Controversial I know but when I first read Wuthering Heights I hated it. I can just picture the disgust on many of your faces as you read this, but it is true. I mean this is the book that inspired Kate Bush’s debut hit (of the same name) as well as screen adaption after adaptation. But it’s still true, I hated it!
You see, I’d always been desperate to read Wuthering Heights, the ultimate gothic romance. I’ve got friends who class this novel as their favourite book of all time, so I was curious to discover what I was missing out on. When I finally came to read it I just expected to naturally love it as I empathised with Cathy and Heathcliff’s tragic love story.
However I remember clearly not empathising. In fact I hated both Cathy and Heathcliff; from what I recall I thought them both to be vile characters. I also thought the plot slow, and if I’m honest, simply boring. Wuthering Heights was such a let down for me…
So why have I chosen Wuthering Heights for my book group buddies and I to read this month you might ask? Well it’s been a long time since I first read it, so will my view have changed in that time? It’s often niggled me as to why so many people consider this to be such a love story, such a masterpiece. Why? Was I simply missing something when I initially read it? I’m also intrigued to revisit Cathy and Heathcliff again as I do love the complexity of a ‘vile’ character. And if I’m honest, I’m a sucker for a love story.
So will my mind be changed? We’ll see. A lot of my book group buddies have actually never read Wuthering Heights; will they love it or hate it? We’ll be meeting in a few weeks to discuss, so come back and find out.
Why don’t you also join us in reading it; or in my case, rereading and let us know what you think? We’d love to know.
I found myself in exactly the same position…and have just finished my re-read to find out what it is about Wuthering Heights that appeals to so many people, but not me. I still agree with your initial reading (and mine) in thinking that there’s nothing to empathise with or love in Cathy and Heathcliff. I’m beginning to think that that’s part of the point…blog post coming soon getting all my thoughts together, and I look forward to reading your second assessment! 🙂