Wuthering Heights is technically a Victorian novel, but the characters and their plights are quite modern. While I’ve heard about this book many times, I had never actually known what the story is about. I enjoyed the novel thoroughly and would definitely read it again in the future, and for those looking to see if they should read it, here’s a general overview and book review (don’t worry, no spoilers!).
Most of the story is told from the point of view of Nelly, a housekeeper, to a tenant named Mr. Lockwood who is renting Thrushcross Grange, a house. Wuthering Heights is the name of a nearby estate, and the story’s plot takes place between these two homes. The Earnshaw family lived at Wuthering Heights, and the Linton family lived at Thrushcross Grange. Both families were of the upper class and had servants and nurses to tend to them.
One day, Mr. Earnshaw brings home a small child he has found abondened; the child has a dark appearance, and is thus very visibly different from the members of the fair families. Mr. Earnshaw calls the boy Heathcliff and raises him as his own, along with his other children Hindley and Catherine. As Heathcliff is laconic and irascible, he is not welcomed by most; however, he forms a deep friendship with Catherine. Catherine is a passionate, wild, and extremely selfish girl, and the two seem to depend on each other for survival.
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that the passionate relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff results in a LOT of drama, spanning three generations of the families. The Lintons and Earnshaws become intertwined, and Heathcliff seeks revenge on Hindley especially for treating him so poorly as a child.
The novel is one of the fastest-paced and darkest I have ever read; that being said, it is immensely enjoyable for a mature reader. The themes and motifs of the story are so prevalent that eventually, although the plot becomes somewhat predictable, you can’t help but turn the page. Some of the major themes of the story include manipulation, revenge, and parallelism between different generations of the same family. Though these themes are heavy, I did not find the story to be depressing, but rather
insightful, heartfelt, and pragmatic. I would definitely NOT recommend this book to children and teens before they are in high school; the characters’ names are somewhat difficult to follow in the beginning, and the overtones of the story are very dark. I enjoyed Wuthering Heights very much, but would only recommend it to those who love to read and are mature enough to handle confusing and darker stories.