The HeightsThe Heights by Brian James
My rating: 4/5 cats
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color me torn in my appreciation of this book. on the one hand, i am seriously addicted to reading interpretations/adaptations of wuthering heights, even though many of them have been pretty atrocious. but now that i am on my teen fiction kick, i thought i would check this out, for research. i approve of modernizing the time period, and i’m fine with the teenagerization – because cathy and heathcliff pretty much acted like spoiled teenagers throughout wuthering heights; all passion and selfishness and disregard for others. and i respect the limitations this imposes on the ending of the book, and the grace with which james’ ending was achieved, even if i found it less satisfying than m’dear brontë’s. this version also really fleshes out catherine’s alignment with edward in a way that not even the original was able to make truly believable, psychologically. so what do i have a problem with?? for one, the modern setting does away with a lot of the haunting qualities of wh. it’s harder to romanticize the wealthy bits of california than the windswept moors. and why keep all the characters names the same EXCEPT for heathcliff?? why “henry”? why not just plain “heath”?? too soon? but the major thing, and it’s only because i am such a fan of wh – it’s not truly a retelling because the heart of it is changed. it is a wonderful story of teenage obsession, but it’s more like endless love in its treatment than wuthering heights. so it is wuthering heights, but with a baboon heart or something. it is similar, and it works fine, but it’s just… different.

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