The BBC and our wonderful libraries are celebrating the joy of reading with the #LoveToRead campaign and I’m joining in by telling you about my favourite book.It’s very hard to choose a favourite, favourite book because mine changes all the time. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the book that has been one of my favourites for the longest time…
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Why do I love it? I read it when I had my first crush on a boy and the passion in this book could knock you over with it’s intensity. W were a match made in Hormone Heaven. Oh, the scenes where Heathcliff is leaning out of the window, his face and neck washed with rain, mourning, grieving, agonising – that’s how I felt about the boy in the sweet shop. Nearly.
Truth be told, I didn’t much like Heathcliff or Cathy – she’s a spoilt brat and he’s a vindictive bully, but the power of their passion was tangible. And the story isn’t all about them, it has this wonderful circular structure , and at the end, is the wholesome warm, tender relationship between Hareton and Catherine, the offspring of Heathcliff’s perceived enemies. They fall in love, a wonderfully equal relationship and thus end the cycle of resentment and hatred at Wuthering Heights.
Oh get me, nice use of the word ‘thus’ there, that’s what you get from reading 19th century novels. Only I have to say, this doesn’t feel like an old story. Emotions don’t change. This book feels contemporary in lots of ways. In fact, I talk about this book a lot in school visits – I think it’s a truly that modern phenomena, a YA novel – even though it was first published in 1847, nearly 170 years ago!
Ahhh, it’s wonderful. Wonderful.
Kathryn Evans is the author of More of Me, winner of the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award and Carnegie Medal nominee for 2017.