Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Photo taken from Goodreads

 Book Info

Title:  Wuthering Heights 

Author:  Emily Bronte
Publisher:  Penguin Classics, Deluxe Edition
Language: English
Format:  Paperback 
Pages:  352 pages
ISBN-10:  0143105434
ISBN-13:  978-0143105435
Source:  Purchased, Fully Booked
Buy this book on Amazon 
*Part of my Mini Reading Challenge* 

From Goodreads:

"Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's only novel, is one of the pinnacles of 19th-century English literature. It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls in love with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family."


I admitted recently that I have never read this book ever.  And so, I am remedied that problem by getting a copy of this book, specifically this one with the cover design by Ruben Toledo - which I thought was pretty chic.  My mother, who is a big Bronte Sisters fan (but obviously not very much because she did not have her own copy of this one that I could have just borrowed), was so thrilled that I got a copy and read it before I did.  She told me that in her elementary days, they were made to write a book report on their favorite book, and this was the book she chose to write a report on.  Her teacher, upon learning that she chose Wuthering Heights, reacted odd and commented, "That is really what you want to read?  Do you really understand this story?"  My mother felt a bit strange that a teacher would ask that of her because she really loved this book and also told me that it might get tough to connect to this book at first, but once you understand what it's all about, it would blow your mind.

And it did.

Unfortunately, I could not just read this in one sitting - not the book's fault - but I often reluctantly put this down for when life happens.  When I finished reading this, I had a long chat with my mother about this book and she was glad that I liked it too.  She even asked me when I'll be writing a review.  I told her that actually, it felt disrespectful that I would attempt to review a classic, since in my opinion, next to the Bible, the classics are the most reverent books ever written.  But she said that I should write a review, do an article where a modern eye critiques a classic book, and try to convince people to read this and not be daunted by its supposedly 'queer' story.

The Bronte Sisters were a group of people who were never allowed to make free with their lives as we are now.  They could not just get out of the house and do whatever they wanted, and so, they poured their boredom into writing.  One thing that would stand out to me about Emily in this book:  She was a very observant person.  And now I understand where 'Emily The Strange' came from.  Why?  Not because Heathcliff and Catherine were monsters, but because this story is such a powerful love story that proves love conquers all - even transcending the mind and only listens to the heart. 

I do not know if I got it right, but I thought that a love story between two obviously insane people - one out of the abuse he received from childhood, one inheriting a familial flaw - is not just humorous, but also very touching and compelling. Another thing adding to the humor was the fact that it was told through Nelly Dean's and Mr. Lockwood's eyes, two people who were very outside what was really happening between the key characters of the story, especially Mr. Lockwood who I think is a good description of a reader who had just begun reading this book and felt lost.  Mr. Lockwood was very much the clueless tenant which somehow reflects the reader in the first few pages of this book, until the story unfolds and clarity slowly creeps into the reader's mind - and then the similarity with Mr. Lockwood fades as the reader has acquired new knowledge about the story, yet Mr. Lockwood remains ever the confused gentleman.

Either this is the most confusing story ever written, or one of the best love stories of our time, but I have to hand it to Ms. Bronte - she knew how to create alive and vivid characters.  They all jumped out of the book and seemed to live in the real world for all their strangeness and individuality.  Their voices were very distinct and different.  You never confuse any of the characters, not even Catherine and her daughter, Catherine II.  Even the narrators, Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean had their own nuances in their narration that you knew exactly who was talking and their attitudes also made it easier for the reader to realize whether the narrator saw it accurately or was too forgiving/undiscerning as in the case of Nelly Dean.

I sometimes wonder whether Ms. Bronte realized what a powerful book she had written, seeing as it was the only novel she completed and her only main audience were her two sisters Anne and Charlotte.  She has written great characters studies, and not only were the main characters given unique personalities, but the minor ones as well.  Her strict attention to detail from the characters to the setting to the writing itself was remarkable and interesting.  This is not just a romantic novel - it is also an intelligent manifesto on then society's stratified status and she also poked fun on both the educated and uneducated people, always giving a touch of humor to every chapter.  This the kind of book that makes you want to just write a letter to its author, or as Holden Caulfield said in The Catcher In the Rye:  "What I really love about a song, or a book ...if it's really good. I mean if the writer is really talking to you. Then you feel like they're this really great friend of yours and you can just call them up on the phone whenever you want."  That is exactly how I feel about this.  If Ms. Bronte were alive, I would definitely write her a letter to tell her what a great novel she has written.


If you have any questions on this particular rating, please refer to my ratings system here.


All opinions expressed in this book review are my own and not influenced by any party in any way. 

Please contact me for questions, comments, and suggestions. 


  1. Ah, such a great book. Heathcliff made it all the more better.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this book!

  3. I really enjoyed this book. I thought their love for each other was amazing in their own cruel twisted way.

  4. Really great book! I'm glad I read this :D

  5. I really liked your review! I always wanted to read this I just never got around to it<3 Hopefully soon I will! :)

  6. Thank you, Brittany! It's really a great book and I look forward to knowing what you think of it. I couldn't believe I waited a long time before reading this myself.

  7. Awesome!!! I also need to read this! And the cover is pretty funky!


I just have to tell you, ARGH feeds on awesomeness, so if you can, drop him some awesome here, and I promise to give some awesome back :D

Right now, because of my really busy schedule, I'm cutting back on receiving awards. So until further notice, me and ARGH would not be accepting awards. But thank you for thinking of us, we really appreciate it!