A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wuthering Heights is a gorgeous, epic novel of love and revenge, full of passion and unforgettable characters. The novel bears little resemblance to familiar film versions in which Heathcliff is interpreted as a misunderstood romantic. Heathcliff's pride and suffering make him cruel, menacing, and his and Cathy's end is not the stuff of fairy tales. However, the novel is thrilling, and it is full of its own kind of romance. It's also worth noting that there are almost certainly ghosts in this book, though Bronte leaves it up to the reader whether or not to believe.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A lodger who has rented a manor house in Yorkshire becomes acquainted with his aloof, surly landlord, Heathcliff, and his family. The lodger, Mr. Lockwood, is forced to spend a night at his landlord's residence, called Wuthering Heights, and he is frightened by what he witnesses in the house, making him curious about the landlord and his lovely, silent daughter-in-law, Catherine. When Lockwood becomes ill, he asks his housekeeper, Ellen Dean, to tell him Heathcliff and Catherine's history, and Mrs. Dean obliges him with a detailed account of Heathcliff's great, star-crossed love, and how Catherine became part of his household.
Is it any good?
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is a poetic masterpiece of love and revenge. Every emotion felt by the characters is so high, or so low, their feelings alone make the novel a thrilling ride. The book is unconventional in a sense, in that there are arguably no real heroes or heroines, but the story is a serious page-turner, and the characters' feelings take on a riveting life of their own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what events shape Heathcliff's character. Why does he become so cruel?
The one character Heathcliff seems to retain some sympathy for is Hareton Earnshaw. Why do you think that is the case?
Many readers are curious about Bronte's choice of Ellen Dean as the narrator of the novel. Do you think she is a reliable narrator? Why do you think Bronte has her tell the story?
Why do you think this book is considered a classic of English literature?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love romance
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.