Before going into this, I heard nothing but bad things about it from others. "Dear Lord, it's the most boring book ever," "I can't take it anymore," aBefore going into this, I heard nothing but bad things about it from others. "Dear Lord, it's the most boring book ever," "I can't take it anymore," and "I'm having suicidal thoughts because I'm being forced to read this" were all common reviews. (That last one may be an exaggeration but whatever.)
I think this book has a bad reputation (at least, from people my age) because of its beginning. Not only is it unbearably slow, but I found myself frustrated with most of it. I was expecting the novel to be entirely about an epic love affair between Catherine and Heathcliff. However, I found myself irritated because Emily Brontë, in my opinion, did not give the two characters enough time together within the pages of the book, and I had trouble believing they were really as in love as they said.
It isn't until the half-way mark that this book became truly enjoyable. It takes until that point to really appreciate everything you had to wade through in the first half. That was one of my favorite things about this novel: the true point of the book comes through after the love affair ends. For me, this wasn't really a novel about Heathcliff and Catherine but a story about how Heathcliff deals with mourning the loss of his one true love.
Speaking of Heathcliff, he was easily the most fascinating character. Brontë writes him in a way in which I completely hated him but felt sorry for him and forgave him for his cruelty at the same time. The most interesting thing about him, though, is how he takes a background role in his own story. The last half focuses on the love affair between Catherine (the second one) and Linton, but in my opinion, the story is still very much about Heathcliff and his journey through the grief process.
Lastly, the ending was beautifully done. Without giving anything away, I loved how Emily Brontë both gave a finality to their story but, at the same time, gave the reader the hope that the two were still roaming the earth together.
My advice with this story is to force yourself through the first half because you'll fall in love with the last. It truly is a beautiful story, and people miss the opportunity to enjoy it because they can't get past the beginning, which is, admittedly, quite lackluster.
Oh, and I strongly recommend you purchase a copy of this book that has some sort of family tree in it. For the first 150 pages or so, I had to keep looking back at mine because all the characters names are so similar or, in some cases, the same....more