This is the final installment of our Wuthering Heights Wednesday read-along hosted by Jill at Fizzy Thoughts. Surprisingly, I was not the only one who hadn't read the book prior to this little adventure. Several other WH virgins read along with the seasoned veterans who 'held our hands' as we made our way through.
So, what did I think? First and foremost, this was not at all what I was expecting.
EXPECTATION: Wuthering Heights is one of the world's great love stories.
REALITY: People consider this a love story??? It seems more like obsession, revenge, and misery to me... although this was a great quote from Cathy I:
My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff! He's always in my mind: not as a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. (page 83)
EXPECTATION: A tall, dark, and handsome hero captures the young girl's heart.
REALITY: An boy of questionable origin, taken in and raised by a family, grows to be a man of questionable mental health bent on seeking revenge against the family's son who mistreated him, while acting on an obsession with the daughter that lasts beyond her life.
EXPECTATION: An atmospheric tale, where the setting is an integral part of the story.
REALITY: I was one for three!
What have I learned?
Although I have long suspected this was true, I learned that I do not need to like or identify with any character in order to enjoy a novel. Until now, I have never been able to point to a specific title where I disliked everyone. Wuthering Heights has changed that.
Although there may have been passing sympathy for Hareton, this was a pretty despicable lot. It's hard to say whether I disliked Heathcliff or Linton more. And, oh that Nelly! So many times she could have stepped in and changed the course of events, but the one time she feels even a slight twinge of guilt, it is quickly discounted. Who knows about Joseph... I didn't understand much of what he had to say, but what I did catch wasn't very favorable. At least Cathy I was interesting, poor Cathy II didn't even have that going for her!
I love classics and Wuthering Heights did not disappoint. It will not go down as one of my favorite books of 2010, but I am very glad to have finally read it. The read-along, however, will definitely be among my favorite blogging 'activities' of the year. The group made what was ultimately a pretty creepy book loaded with loathsome characters into an enjoyable, memorable read. And best of all, I have a some new friends whose blogs I will continue to visit regularly.
Thanks so much for hosting, Jill!
The WHW Group:
- Jill at Fizzy Thoughts
- Vivienne( Serendipity)
- Messy Karen
- Ti (Book Chatter)
- Lisa – Lit And Life
- Dar@ Peeking Between the Pages
- J.C. Montgomery (The Biblio Blogazine)
- JoAnn (Lakeside Musing)
- Amy at New Century Reading
- Geri at One More Foggy Notion
- Rob at Books are Like Candy Corn
- Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity
- Carina at Reading through Life