Melody
ISBN-13: 9780312368531
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: May 2009
246 pgs




I bought this book for two reasons: I love the cover art, and that the book blurb says this is a contemporary imagining of Wuthering Heights. Though I have not read Wuthering Heights (it is stacked somewhere in my to-be-read pile) but I know the story revolves around two star-crossed lovers and their doomed love and revenge. Initially I wasn't sure if I should read Wuthering Heights first, but then I thought I should read this book anyway (as to having a fresh perspective of this story) and moreover I hate to spoil the pleasure by comparing the two books while reading, something which I know I shouldn't but couldn't help it anyway. Since I have not read Wuthering Heights, I am not sure if the setting of The Heights would closely follows the former but I have to say it is an emotional charge book through and through.

Mr Earnshaw found five-year-old Henry on a cold rainy day in San Francisco. That day marked the beginning of Henry's life, but the best thing is it marked the day he met Catherine. Catherine is like a ray of sunshine to him; and for the first time Henry found happiness through her and Mr Earnshaw. However, Hindley, the eldest son in the family does not welcome him and think Henry has taken away all the attention and is a threat to him. It does not help that Henry is a Mexican and thus this is another reason Hindley despise him so.

Henry and Catherine have liked each other from the beginning and they feel nothing will bring them apart from each other. Unfortunately, things change after Mr Earnshaw died and Hindley gains control of the family. Hindley sees this as a payback time to Henry and he make sure to sever Henry's relationship with Catherine, and as if that is not enough, he enrols Henry in a public school where he has to endure the swearings and beatings from the school bullies. These have made Henry to become an angrier and a more bitter person.

It is at this point that Catherine began to get closer to Edgar. Edgar goes to the same school as Catherine and she knows he likes her. Though Catherine treats him as a friend, she couldn't help liking him as the days go by and the fact that he is always there for her whenever she needs him since she could hardly see or talk with Henry given the circumstances.

Henry, on the other hand, sees Catherine a changed person and to make things worse, a tragic accident happened and this has further widened the gap of their relationship. With all the things happening around him, it is no surprise that Henry's rage came to a point of eruption.

I knew this story would not end with a happily-ever-after, and in fact is a dark and a sad tale about doomed love, revenge and tragedy. But there is something more besides those, issues like the social injustice of class and also bits on racism (my heart ached for Henry when he is being bullied and abused by the other students in the public school).

I guess things might be different if Henry and Catherine have communicated more with each other and not thinking of the worse or assuming things that are not true. Honestly, I was a little stumped towards the ending because I thought there are certain things that would help me understand things better if told concisely but that is just me. I think the dark and brooding atmosphere is nicely done and it definitely adds intrigue and intensity to the story.

Now I really look forward to reading Wuthering Heights after reading The Heights. Have you read any of these books? What do you think of it(them)?

Other reviews:
Brontë Blog
Presenting Lenore
(Let me know if I missed yours.)

14 Responses
  1. Beth F Says:

    It does seem to follow the plot of Wuthering Heights to some extent. Since WH was not one of my favorite books, I'll likely not read this one. But I bet you like WH.


  2. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    Yes the plot does sound close to WH. My main question would be...did you like any of the characters in this story? Because I will tell you, not only is WH dark and the relationships dysfunctional, you really start to loathe the characters. I did not like any of them. I'm glad to have read WH, but I'm not sure I'd want to read anything else like it!


  3. S. Krishna Says:

    This is definitely like Wuthering Heights, but I second Sandy's question - did you like any of the characters? Because I didn't like any of the characters in WH, though I did like the book.


  4. Jeane Says:

    I think I read Wuthering Heights a long, long time ago in school- all I recall really is that it was very gloomy. I'd think I'd find a modern rendition of the story really interesting.


  5. naida Says:

    The cover art is fabulous.
    Wuthering Heights is a favorite of mine :) This one does sound like there are similarities.
    Greatg review.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/


  6. Melody Says:

    Beth - Now you definitely have me intrigued on WH! Need to read it soon!!

    Sandy - Well, I think about your question over and over again and came to a conclusion that I don't really like any of the characters. Why? Henry is forever angry and he seems a little negative to me (although I can totally understand about his concerns) and I wish Catherine would be more forward in both her speech and actions. And I don't really care for the other characters. As one of my friends commented, this book sounds too depressing to her!

    Swapna - Please read my reply to Sandy as above. :)

    Jeane - It seems like I'm the last person to read WH! :P

    Naida - Thanks! I look forward to reading WH.


  7. violetcrush Says:

    I really did not like Wuthering Heights but I read it long back. So instead of re-reading that one I might as well give this one a try.

    Neat concept though...


  8. Alice Teh Says:

    I have WUTHERING HEIGHTS in my TBR pile and this book sounds good too. I enjoyed reading your review, Melody!


  9. Melody Says:

    Violet - I'm really curious about WH and now that I've read The Heights, I can totally understand why some readers do not like WH. I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it.

    Alice - Thanks, Alice! :) I hope you'll enjoy both WH and The Heights! I need to read WH soon!


  10. Veens Says:

    **gasp** didn't know about this at all. No, I have not read Wuthering Heights :)

    Now I see, I must get to that and this too!

    Awesome review girlie!


  11. Melody Says:

    Veens - Thanks! I hope you too will enjoy WH and The Heights! :)


  12. Andreea Says:

    Thanks for this review. I haven't heard of this book before. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books:)


  13. Brian James Says:

    Hey-

    Thanks for the thoughtful review of my book. I found some of the comments interesting because...I didn't like a lot of the characters in WH. In fact, I hated Heathcliff more than any character I've ever come in contact with.

    I definitely changed some characters to make them more sympathetic.

    Glad you enjoyed it,

    Brian


  14. Melody Says:

    Andreea - I hope you'll check out this book. I can't wait to read WH.

    Brian - Thank you for dropping by my blog! I think the concept of The Heights is rather refreshing, and it definitely makes me want to read WH sooner.

    I look forward to reading your other books soon. I've Zombie Blondes in my pile.