Book review: The Heights by Juliet Bell

The heightsThe heights by Juliet Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A retelling of Wuthering Heights set in the 1980s during the Miner’s Strike. I studied Wuthering Heights at A-level, so I was curious to see how this went.
It was wonderful. For the first few chapters, I kept trying to link back to the characters in the original – Lockwood is a detective who has a hunch about Heathcliff, ‘Nellie’ Dean is a social worker etc, but after a while I stopped bothering and just got caught up in the story. I stayed up until silly o’clock in the morning to finish it … even though I knew what was coming!

The story retains the dark, compelling feel of the original. The characters are as depressing and horrible as they were, but with slightly more modern sensibilities. The amount of death, which would have been less unusual 200 years ago, is unusual even in 1980s Yorkshire, and DCI Lockwood’s obsession with the family and the unusually high death rate addresses that. As with the original, the setting is an active character in story, with the blue hill always looming in the background in more ways than one.

This is a story of obsession and revenge. It would have been nice for DCI Lockwood to have found Heathcliff guilty of something, but that would change the ending from the original (and I would have been enraged!), so the small resolution at the end was the best there could be. I liked the small lilt of hope at the end too.

Overall, this is a great adaptation of a classic. I loved it.

Disclaimer: I got a a review copy from Netgalley (thank you!). I know the authors as we are all members of the Romantic Novelists Association.

View all my reviews

Buy on The Heights: A gripping modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights

Buy on The Heights: A gripping modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights

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