Posted by Matilda
This is one of my all time favourite books to read when I want a reminder that I’m not the only one who chooses the wrong man – dark, unreadable, world weary. It goes hand in hand with the whiff of I-can-fix-you syndrome.
The protagonist Catherine is no exception. The story follows the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff – an orphan taken in by her father. Though she falls for him, Catherine is encouraged to marry a boy of her own class, Edgar, leaving Heathcliff pining over his lost love by showing Catherine what a poor choice she has made. It is clear Catherine has no passion for her husband but it begs the question - why doesn’t she want Edgar Linton? His love is no less intense than Heathcliff’s and has none of the controlling, self obsessed qualities either but it’s not enough. It never is. It’s simple. He is predictable and safe. The strength of this book lies in the flawed characters – unmistakably human and identifiable.
This book makes me feel good about myself. I will no longer make the same decisions once I re-read it. I am much more aware of the pitfalls of falling for the emotionally unavailable man. I could tell Catherine a thing or two.
You can read this book easily in one sitting. However, it should come with warning – the reader will cry. Lots. If I’m feeling weepy with nostalgia for lost love, I take out this book reminding me of the futility of a relationship without communication. I don’t mean the hours on the phone and the usual time you spend with a loved one, I’m talking out-in-the-open, raw and honest. What’s really going on.
This book charts the journey of young newly-weds. One of the skills of McKeon is to successfully create a time frame of one day (Saturday, for example) or a single weekend, like we have in this book. It’s beautifully written, the language evocative and the images carefully structured to mirror the young couples’ relationship. Often it’s the language used that speaks more than the story itself.