Review: Wuthering Nights: An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Nights: An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights by I.J. Miller
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
A fan of kinky sexed up reinterpretation of classics, I looked forward to this book. I've never read Wuthering Heights, but I've always been told of the story's intense repressed sexual undertones. Since the Victorian age seemed to be filled with these sublimated perversions, it would be a treat to have them completely brought to light in an erotic tale.
In this retelling, it just didn't work for me. While Ms. Miller did try hard to keep the tension and the star-crossed lover feel, it came across as a melodramatic soap opera for me. I didn't like any of the characters. I felt pity for Heathcliff at first. Then it turned into disgust. Even his quasi-BDSM didn't arouse me. He's not a Dom. He's a sexual abusive asshole. While there are probably many men and women who think Heathcliff's brand of BDSM is how it is, and maybe some even practice it this way, it's not how I know it or experience it. This was just not my kink. Because to me, Heathcliff's intent before, during and after are a heinous mockery of a good Dom. He is a poster boy of what not to do. The execution of the BDSM scenes were okay. They didn't really pull me in.
Now to be clear, this story is supposed to be a historical erotica of a plausible situation. This isn't supposed to be a non-con or dub-con book which is why the BDSM in here doesn't do it for me. I have read a reinterpretation of Jane Eyre which it completely kinked out and it's clear it's supposed to be dub-con and non-con upfront. I loved that book.
The difficulty for me in this book is the lack of appealing characters. Even the next generation of kids who are all kissing first cousins doesn't do it for me. Every character in here is dysfunctional and comes off mentally unbalanced. Even Nelly the servant is mentally ill. Why she stayed so long with these loonies just baffled me. Yes, it's hard to find a new job without good references back then, but seriously, this was a bit extreme. Some of it had to do with the fact that she was enamoured with Heathcliff. What female in this book other than Cathy didn't want a lick of his manhood? Just bizarre since Heathcliff was not what I consider romantic, heroic or alpha.
Catherine in this book is a perfect example of a woman diagnosed with "hysteria" back then. I'm surprised she wasn't committed to a psych ward. She came across as a spoiled brat and ended up as a pathetic pussy. It was very frustrating to read about her decline. Basically, without a man she's hopeless.
This book felt dragged out for me. There were many scenes which cluttered the story. It's as if there were unnecessary details to build more of a plot or a better character development. For me, it had an adverse effect. The plot felt more clunky and the characters fell flat. I would recommend characters to be designed with at least one appealing characteristic. The engaging characteristic should not be "martyr for love". In addition, sticking to just one or two point of views would help. If one really needs to show from different character's perspective, write separate books. Other authors do this very successfully - Ms. Anne McCaffrey and Ms. Annabel Joseph are great examples. Regretfully this book did not appeal to me.
*provided by NetGalley
View all my reviews