God, how I love that book . . . Roger Sutton blogged awhile ago (did I mention this already?) about the Return of the Gothic in YA, and how come it hasn’t? Which prompted me to find my fave goth romance of all time, Wuthering Heights (in an edition prefaced by Daphne Merkin), and get lost on the moors all over again.
I had no worries about the novel “holding up” to my teenage adoration – is Everest too short, now that I’m a grown-up? Nuh-uh. What I did notice this time was how completely, unrepentantly selfish Cathy and Heathcliff were, how obsessed with each other, how rough and bruising their relationship – and how the power was distributed: “Be content,” says deathbed Cathy, “you always followed me.” The later relationship between young Catherine and Hareton Earnshaw (don’t you love those names?!) is much less fraught, more traditionally “romantic.”
Plus, that is one funny book. You have to have a taste for hard humor, I guess, but I laughed out loud in spots. That Hindley, what a card! And “Now, now, idiot, cut it short,” reminded me of Deadwood, my favorite TV show of all time.
What shut my gob was the afterword, all the dreary reviews, etc., that I have blogged about elsewhere and so won’t trouble to rehash, but good lord, people. All these little critics whose names go unremembered except in the context – the shadow – of the giant they dissed.