I wanted to do cartwheels....

... when I came upon this scene in my bedroom last week (or was it two weeks ago by now?).  One of my greatest joys as a mom is to see my kids with nose-in-book.  Please note the title; yes, it is Wuthering Heights.

The Bean had been back in my room reading for twenty minutes or so when I walked through the door, saw what was happening, and then slowly, slowly backed out of the room attempting to avoid discovery.  Too late.  His Mom-Alert sensor had sounded, and without looking up, he asked, "Mom, is this a ghost story?"  Knowing his reading preferences, I said without hesitation, "Yes!  Yes, it is a ghost story.  A very famous ghost story."  And then got out of there fast.

Alas, he lost interest a while later, as any seven-year-old would.  Even with thirty years of reading experience, I have to concentrate hard on Wuthering Heights.  And I know he'll probably have to be at least twenty-seven before he'll want to try it again.

But you could read (or re-read) it.  Right now.  For those who haven't had the pleasure, it's a heart-wrenching love story (and yes, you could consider it a ghost story...... in a way).  Its particular power, in my opinion, is in its characters who are flawed and even sometimes despicable - but whom I can't help but love and feel compassion toward.  I will leave you with a taste of this stellar book: its lovely and haunting closing lines (don't worry, no spoiler here):

"I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."

P.S.  If you live anywhere near South-of-the-River, try Sixth Chamber Used Books.  I bought this copy there for less than $3. 

1 comment:

ljchicago said...

I read Wuthering Heights during freshman year at SMC, right after reading Jane Eyre. (Oh, wait, Wide Sargasso Sea was in between.) It was too much for me to read those two books so close together, and I liked Jane Eyre so much that I didn't like/chose not to like Wuthering Heights. I remember being confused by a number of characters (at least two) being named Catherine. Am I right? I don't think I'll read it again soon, as I am having trouble keeping up with life these days.