Unpopular opinion time. If this is one of your favorite books, I apologize in advance, and you might want to look away now.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I generally love everything. Very rarely do I hate a book. Well, I hated this one. Seriously, it was awful. It felt like pulling teeth trying to get myself to finish it. But finish it I (finally) did, and here are my thoughts.
One of my favorite classics of all time is Jane Eyre, written by another of the Brontë sisters, so I had really high hopes for this book in spite of my past with it. I’ve started this book three times before, and never could get past the first fifty pages. I should have trusted myself and let three strikes against it be enough.
I have heard my whole life that this book was such a sad and beautiful Gothic romance. Um, nope. This is not a romantic novel. Heathcliff is not a romantic character. He is possessive and manipulative and just plain hateful. There were absolutely no redeeming qualities to be found in him. How romanticized this character has been portrayed by other works of literature infuriates me. This is why girls think possessive, abusive relationships are okay. ABUSE IS NEVER OKAY, and Heathcliff abuses everyone in his life. I honestly believe that Humbert Humbert from Lolita has more redeeming qualities than Heathcliff, and he’s a child rapist! Not that I think that Lolita is a romantic book either, and people who do completely freak me out. Eew. My point is, Heathcliff is a terrible person, and I cannot fathom why anyone would view him as a romantic character.
But Heathcliff isn’t the only person at fault. Catherine is terrible, as well. If it wasn’t for her selfishness, the pain experienced by so many others in her life could have been avoided. All of the characters were pretty awful. There were a few who had goodness in their core, but they were either portrayed as weak or forced to harden past their “weakness”. Goodness is not weakness. I choose to believe that most people are at their core genuinely good, or that they would like to be. This novel conveys pretty much the exact opposite. Also, random side note, but I absolutely hated any time Joseph came onto the seen, because his bastardized grammar made my brain try to vomit. Ugh.
Wuthering Heights was without a doubt one of the most depressing, infuriating, horrible books I’ve ever read. I give it points for enduring, I suppose, but I’ll never understand why on earth it ever became, much less remained, popular. I’m obviously in the minority here, through. If you love this book, more power to you. But I have no problem never reading it again. Maybe I’ll donate my copy to the library…