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The Heights

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the heights by Juliet bell.
This was a slow but good read.  
DCI lockwood has come back to Yorkshire.  he wants to close a case that happened here when he first became a detective years ago. someone put a nail gun in the police van where he was sat in and the nail gun went into him. he knows who it is. he just have to prove it before he retires.  
I liked the story and the characters but it just didn't keep me reading I had to keep putting it down. so took a few days. 4*.
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I’ve been a fan of Wuthering Heights for as long as I can remember and I enjoy finding books books that have a connection to its story or characters. I was drawn to The Heights as a modern retelling, but at first I was I bit put off by how much of a re-telling it was. 

I was expecting to read a story that was based on the original, not something that mirrored it as closely as The Heights does at the onset. At first I thought, Why am I bothering to read this when I can just read the original again? It’s been a long time since I’ve read Wuthering Heights and reading it again during Emily Bronte’s 200th birth anniversary year seems like a great idea. I hate to give up on a book, though, so I read on.

This version of the story takes place in the 1980s against the backdrop of the closing of the Yorkshire coal mines. The Earnshaws are miners, the Lintons are closing the mines down. Readers who have read the original novel will recognize the characters (most, but not all, have the same names as in Wuthering Heights) and there will be no surprises as the story unfolds. If you haven’t read Wuthering Heights in a long time, you will probably want to read it again after you finish The Heights. You will be drawn back to the characters and their tragic circumstances. Even though I knew how the story would end, the more I read, the more I wanted to see how it would play out in this modern time period. For me, the wildness and passion of the original was lacking here. I never felt the desperate love between Cathy and Heathcliff the way I felt it when I read the original. Interestingly, as much as I thought The Heights was too much of a mirror of Wuthering Heights when I began reading, it was scenes that were missing in the re-telling that could have brought that passion to light.

The Heights would be a good introduction to Wuthering Heights to readers who haven’t read the original. Reading The Heights was a reminder to me why Wuthering Heights will likely remain my favorite novel for the rest of my days. I can’t wait to pick it up again.

*Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A five-star adaptation of a four-star classic. 4/5 stars.

The Heights is an excellent modern retelling of Emily Brontë's classic tale. The transposition of the events of Wuthering Heights to the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries works incredibly well, the time shifts are handled skillfully, and the reassignments of the roles of the secondary characters are ingenious. For example, making Lockwood a detective on the verge of retirement gives him a good reason to be unendingly curious about the Earnshaws while also imbuing the whole story with an air of trendy Scandinavian noir.

The Heights also tells the story with greater immediacy than the original. In WH the story is delivered through Lockwood, who is mostly recounting what Nelly Dean has told him, while The Heights gives us firsthand access to events, which serves to heighten suspense and the drama.

When deciding whether to recommend The Heights to readers, the two big questions to answer are:

1. Will someone who has read, but didn't particularly enjoy WH, enjoy this book?

2. Will someone who hasn't read WH be able to enjoy this book?

In both cases, the answer depends on what you generally enjoy reading and what you expect to get out of the story.

WH is one of the gloomiest tales of obsession, vengeance, rage and madness in the English language. Nevertheless, it has somehow gained a reputation as a great love story, and this could fool readers into expecting more sunshine and rainbows from The Heights, which faithfully captures the sombre mood and grit of the original.

So if you're looking for a dark, twisted story of all-consuming passion, add The Heights to your to-read list now. It doesn't matter if you've already read WH or not. However, if you prefer happier stories with the odd laugh, you might want to stick to Austen and her adaptations. And if you're looking for something between Austen and Emily Brontë, you can't go wrong with Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

Overall: a superb modern retelling of Emily Brontë's brooding tale of obsession and madness. If dark revenge stories are your thing, add this to your TBR now!
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Ray Earnshaw is a miner caught up in the Miners' Strike in the 1980s.  One day he brings a boy into the family home, Heathcliff, who joins his eldest son Mick and daughter Cathy.  His wife leaves and after some trouble Mick also leaves town.  Cathy and Heathcliff run wild until events take a turn.  Ray is killed and Mick returns to the family home with his fiancee.  The tragedies continue, affecting both the Earnshaws and the family that they marry into, the Lintons.  Heathcliff grows into a bitter man, possessed by his first love and out for revenge.

As far as complex, gothic plots go Wuthering Heights is up there with the best.  I must admit that it is actually my least favourite Bronte novel and I find the overblown nature of the plot dynamics too much.  here the authors have taken the plot, the twists and turns, the relationships and the passions and created a modern re-telling.  Bizarrely, it actually works for me and that is probably because neither Cathy nor Heathcliff are particularly sympathetic characters in this version, Edward (Edgar) Linton is still a pathetic colourless man and Harry (Hareton) changes dramatically in the last few pages.  What is missing is the sense of place.  Wuthering Heights conjures up this amazing landscape of wild, windswept moors, of isolation and danger.  Here the setting appears to be in South Yorkshire but beyond the idea of a few slag heaps on the edge of a rough mining village there is little more.  However the placing of the Miners' Strike is really clever, as is the pen name of the authors an in-joke for Bronte fans.
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It's Wuthering Heights, in the 1980s and in 2008. There is a miner's strike and pits and a run down housing project. 

It's....essentially the same story, with contemporary music and tv thrown in for good measure. I didn't hate this book...but then again, Wuthering Heights has never been a favorite for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Thanks HQ and netgalley for this ARC.

This book will not be for everyone but it's a great modern retelling of a classic. Just don't try comparing the two as you read.
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So, the story of Wuthering Heights set against a 1980s background – the miners’ strike and the closure of the pits, the Heights a run down housing estate, young Linton a graphic designer, a modern twist to whatever Heathcliff got up to during his disappearance – with a 2008 investigation into what really happened. Yes, it works – I did enjoy it, and to do so you really don’t need to be a fan or to be familiar with the original story.

But if you do know it well, you’ll find the same broad story outline, but with some very clever little twists – I really liked what they did with Ellen Dean, an unreliable narrator for quite different reasons, and some of the little touches like the lock of hair, the Lintons’ dog and the fate of Isabella. I couldn’t entirely forgive giving Heathcliff a surname – but then I can be a bit of a purist. But the legacy of mental and physical cruelty is still here, the class and gender divide (the former perhaps more translatable to the 80s setting than the latter), the magnificence of the moors, and the starkly gothic and heart-rending story of vengeance and obsession. The additions and context worked well too – the investigator’s background and his preoccupation with the family. For the most part, the 80s setting was well drawn, although I could perhaps have done without some of the contemporary touches like mentions of Madonna and TV programmes which jarred a little.

Perhaps it’s wrong to review this one purely as a retelling of the original story. Had I come to this book with no knowledge of the original, I think I actually might have enjoyed it anyway (perhaps more?), as a powerful story with a story of doomed obsessive love at its centre. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but are well drawn, and the passion is most definitely there – and perhaps, as a first time reader, it might have been easier to engage with Lockwood’s murder investigation rather than looking for the echoes of the original. The story’s latter stages are immensely sad – and very well done. And the writing? The story is well told, and immensely readable – maybe a little flat in places, perhaps the product of its setting, and sometimes a little matter-of-fact when I was looking for the heaving passion of the original. Or maybe that passion was always just the product of my own imagination?

So I think I’m saying that the jury’s out. It’s a retelling of a magnificent story that I think was always going to work best in its Victorian setting, where its themes really do belong. But do try this one – it’s brave and a very different interpretation, and you might just enjoy it.
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If you really loved Withering Heights then you will love this book because even the names of the characters are the same. 

I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters and found myself constantly frustrated with all the relationships. The stress of classes was not as strong in this book as the original which made it feel a little confusing as to why it was just a bad relationship.
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You'll like this more if you don't read it as a modernized version of Wuthering Heights and read it as a tale of Yorkshire in the tough 1980s.  I loved WH- but it's been many many years since I read it so at first I found myself straining to remember the story. Once I let go of that, I was happier.  It's hard for me to decide, however, the extent to which Cathy and Heathcliff are full characters.  Their love for one another is clear (and expressed a tad differently in this updated version.). As with so many novels these days, this would have benefited from a copy edit for grammar.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC,  Recommend against this for big WH fans and for those looking for a star crossed romance in the mining country.
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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.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Juliet Bell, and HQ Digital for allowing me to read and review an ARC of The Heights. I too had high hopes for this book, but in the end, I just couldn't get into it and didn't enjoy it. 2 stars.
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I have to say that although I had high hopes for this one, they were sadly disappointed. The story itself was good. The miner's strike seemed very realistic and devastating. However, the characters and plot didn't have much depth. The simple writing kept everything surface level. And honestly, if I'm not connecting with the characters at all, overall I usually end up pretty bored with what I'm reading.
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It took me a little while to settle into this book although I am glad I read to the end, as I got more invested as it went along. It's set during the miner's strike and we get a sense of how tough life was in the mining villages and how tensions grew. Heathcliff is a brooding character as in the original novel. It actually made me keen to reread the classic.
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I had mixed feelings about this book. The first few chapters had me hooked, with realistic miners strike scenes and intriguing characters, but it soon got very gloomy. Bringing the original story up to date meant modernising names, occupations, houses, and changing and expanding parts of the story, while trying to keep the essence of the plot. Did it work? The core of the story has to be the obsessional love between Cathy and Heathcliffe and that remains strong throughout, his longing after her death creeping into madness. For a twentieth century story though, I felt there were just too many deaths, too much angst, too much talking to gravestones, too much for the younger characters to put up with in the name of family. A brave attempt at a retelling, but this story belongs in another century and not all of it translates well. Lockwood comes looking for answers but frustratingly fails to find them. Nothing is fully resolved and there is no happy ending for anyone. I found that a bit depressing and downbeat. Knowing there were two authors made me look for the joins. Who wrote which parts? I was pleasantly surprised to not be able to tell.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.  I enjoyed reading this book but not sure what to write in my review.  Shall just leave other reviewers to do it.
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Taking the plot line from Wuthering Heights and transferring it to the 1980s miners' strike where the Earnshaws work the pit and the Lintons arrive to close it down, could have given new life to this classic. Sadly, though, the writing lets it down. Everything is on the surface with no nuance or subtlety. For example, when Cathy learns her father is dead, 'it was the most horrible news there could be'. Later, in order to convey the relationship between Isabelle Linton and Heathcliffe, we're told: 'a packet of condoms was now hidden in the back of the top drawer of her bedside table. Tonight it was supposed to happen for the first time. Her and Heathcliff. She loved him so much and he did want her, she was sure of it.'

Nice idea, but the pedestrian prose can't carry the story. Sorry, not for me.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the authors for my advance reading copy of The Heights. This review is unbiased and honest. 
I always have a mixed bag of feelings when it comes to retellings. In fact nearly every retelling I've ever read has been disappointing, unable to live up to the great story they're trying to reproduce. Wuthering Heights is one of my all time favourite books, so I was both excited, and full of caution when I requested The Heights, how would Heathcliffe and Cathy's love story live up to a modern retelling? Very well it turns out! 
Cathy Earnshaw lives in a typical 1980s Yorkshire town, during the Miner's Strike, with her mother an unhappy housewife, her father a disgruntled miner and her brother Mick who is frankly a bit of a yob. Then one day, her father brings home Heathcliffe, a dark, strange little boy who quickly becomes Cathy's best friend. 
That is, until Cathy befriends the new, posh kids in school, Isabelle and Edward Linton, and abandons Heathcliffe to marry Edward, who she sees as a ticket out of her horrible life. 

The rest of the story plays out exactly as in the original with the tragic deaths of many of the main characters, leaving their children in the care of The now insane Heathcliffe. I loved the idea of Lockwood as a police officer, Ellen Dean as a Social Worked and Joseph as the local priest. It generally just worked really well. 

The Heights really explored the themes of incest within The story, the idea that Heathcliffe was the bastard son of Cathy's father and therefore her half brother, something that unbelievably never crossed my mind before. The story flicks between past and present, between DCI Lockwood's investigation in 2008/9 and the events which happened in the 80s and 90s and brought about the tragedies now being experienced. 

Wuthering Heights of course remains not only one of my favourite novels but a novel which is favourite of many in the world, one of the great classic novels which remains timeless, and finally we have a retelling which does it justice.
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Billed as a retelling of Wuthering Heights, this novel is set in 1980’sYorkshire where police detective Lockwood has been called in after the discovery of a body found in one of the local pits. The Earnshaw’s shut the pits down years ago, and Lockwood finds himself with the unenviable task of questioning the Earnshawfamily about the boy and the wild and reckless and very dead Cathy Earnshaw.  I was never a fan of the original Wuthering Heights, so I actually found this version vastly more emtertaining
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