In high school, I had to read Wuthering Heights. I hated it! I can’t remember now the exact reasons for my hatred. If someone mentioned moors to me, I rolled my eyes and huffed my disdain. I couldn’t even watch one production of the book. I love Jane Eyre but Catherine and Heathcliff made me cringe. Though, I love his name–there’s something about the way it falls from the lips–for me it was a waste of paper.
During my weekly trip to the bookstore, I spotted the Penguin Classics editions with the illustrated covers by the artist Ruben Toledo. (The other titles are Pride & Prejudice, The Scarlett Letter) I wanted to purchase the book just for the cover. My frugal mind told me it was a waste of money since the book had me crinkling my nose in disgust. So, I stood there, studying the cover and trying to remember why I hated it. Was it youth? Maybe it was my not fully understanding the customs of 19th century England. Maybe age and understanding might change my mind. I duly purchased my copy.
As I read the beginning I felt nothing had changed. Then as Mrs. Dean began to tell Cathy and Heathcliff’s story, much like Mr. Lockwood, I was sucked in by the passion and pain that comes with love denied. A universal theme that a romantic at heart doesn’t enjoy. And though, Emily Bronte might not have given Cathy and Heathcliff a happy ending, she showed us readers another side of love. With all the emotional ups and lows. As I read Emily’s words, I feel them alive in me. Isn’t that what every writers wants? To have the reader lost in the tale, feeling what the characters are experiencing and enduring.
Wuthering Heights will be added to my fav list. Maybe Emily’s tale will make me a better writer. Is there a novel that you might give a second chance or have you all ready? Do you think your opinion will change or remain the same?