H. by Lin Haire-Sargeant

H.

The Story of Heathcliff's Journey Back to Wuthering Heights
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Sequelmania strikes again as Haire-Sargeant presumes upon Emily Brontâ's stark, strange masterpiece, delivering a story that achieves a slight success as a literary pastiche but never becomes a satisfying work of fiction in its own right. The novel commingles the author's invention with elements in both Emily and Charlotte Brontâ's fictional worlds. The literary sisters themselves appear as characters, interacting with Charles Lockwood, Nelly Dean, Edgar Linton, et al. It all begins with Charlotte sharing a railway compartment with Charles Lockwood, who shows her a long letter from Heathcliff to Catherine Earnshaw recounting his doings in the three years he was absent from Wuthering Heights. This letter was contained in a letter from the Heights' old housekeeper, Nelly Dean, in which she confesses that she intercepted Heathcliff's missive to protect Catherine, and now, on her deathbed, wonders whether she did the right thing. While Mr. Lockwood sleeps, Charlotte reads Heathcliff's letter, an account to Cathy of his flight to Liverpool, where he met up with one Mr. Are; the older gentleman took him as his protegÇ with the aim of refining him. Heathcliff took instruction well, motivated by his desire to be worthy of his beloved Cathy. A surprise meeting with his rival Edgar Linton at Mr. Are's house ended with an improbable act of vengeance on Heathcliff's part. Mr. Are took Heathcliff abroad with him and there fell in love with a young governess named Jane Eyre; upon returning to England, he was about to marry her when it became known that he had a wife, Bertha, who was insane and confined in the attic of his house. Throw in the occasional italicized stream-of-consciousness rumination by Catherine Earnshaw and you have a veritable peat bog of a novel in which a solid footing is hard to attain. Stick to the high ground of the original instead.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-77700-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1992