Wuthering Heights, it’s just one of those books isn’t it? A classic that is just waiting to be loved. Heathcliff, Cathy, dark moors it’s got it all, plus it’s on nearly every “Read Before you Die” list ever made. Basically, in every quantifiable way, Wuthering Heights has made it to the big leagues (any book that has it’s own song qualifies for “big leagues”). Here’s the thing though- I just don’t love it. Oh, I’ve tried to love it, I’ve read, and re-read it, several times. At first I thought it was just because I was trying to make it romantic, it’s not, so I gave it another chance. Still nothing but annoyance. It’s frustrating, all the signs are there, well one sign- the heroine is called Cathy…I’m called Kathy, so obviously this means the book should be my favourite. I even dressed up as Cathy one Halloween because I thought this connection was so worth pointing out, it was my first year of Uni, it was the English Society Party, I apologise.
The thing is Wuthering Heights is just a bit weird. Isn’t it? To begin with the narrative structure is all over the place, we get a couple of chapters about the narrator, then nothing. Not. One. Thing. Then he gets ill and forces his servant to gossip about his neighbours to pass the time, this is when it all goes downhill for me. Also I’m a bit of a wimp…dead people outside my window at night? No thank you. On so many levels the detached and analytical part of my brain almost convinces me that this book is a masterpiece. It really is a testament to the dangerous and obsessive side of love and I am constantly amazed that all of it came from the mind of a sheltered vicar’s daughter. Emily Bronte really gets inside your head and makes you think, and feel. All this aside, though, I just don’t get it and this frustrates me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never felt remotely the way Cathy and Heathcliff feel about each other that I can’t identify with Wuthering Heights, perhaps it’s because I don’t want to feel remotely this way about anyone…I don’t know, but there’s just something about it that makes me finish the last page, shut the book and think “well I’m never reading that again”. Then again, there is equally something about it that makes me pick it up and start the process all over after a many months have passed. I guess that’s part of the intrigue, I keep reading because I want to understand it but at the end of the day, perhaps I never will. I do love the song though!