Finishing off the I Am Heathcliff collection with this story worked surprisingly well. It took a modern take on Heathcliff’s stalkerish ways and also weaved in other themes of understanding, betrayal and appearances throughout the story.
This is a bit of a ranty, ravy type of story. Just one block of text that recounts Heathcliff’s impressions of Cathy and her family as he grew up. That makes his tale a little more tragic. A little more relatable. Even if I still think he’s a douche.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this short story. Most of the stories in this collection have been really interesting and engaging. But not the type of story that I would generally consider “enjoyable”. Which meant that I was incredibly surprised when I enjoyed this so much. There was just a level of sweetness and romance to it that the rest of the short stories in this collection quite frankly don’t have.
I’ve always believed that in almost every meaningful interaction we have with people, we give them a small part of ourselves. That, if they are able, they in turn give something back to us. But what happens when the people we surround ourselves with just take, take, take? What happens when parts of you begin to disappear as people refuse to return your gifts?
I did enjoy this collection, but not as much as I had hoped. Probably because I bought this before reading Wuthering Heights. Which I then hated. So although this collection went a long way towards helping me to understand just why people love the classic so much. I still didn’t really love the obsessive, twisted romance that really features throughout all of these. The darkness that is completely overwhelming and more than a little difficult to understand.
I’m really not sure why this is in a collection of stories based on Wuthering Heights. It’s a great short story, don’t get me wrong, but I’m struggling to make that connection to the gothic classic that I’ve been able to make with most of the other stories in this series. Amulet and Feathers had a great sense of dignity and an incredibly fun storyline to it.
This made me so damn uncomfortable that I just wanted to put the whole book down. Multiple times. Possibly set it on fire. And the reason that it made me so uncomfortable? It wasn’t fantasy. It wasn’t some far off time. It wasn’t something that I couldn’t quite conceive of. It was about men who take a twisted view on romance and attack us. It is something that happens to everyone. At any time. And it is so damn uncomfortable that I honestly don’t have the words for it. Disgustingly uncomfortable is the closest I can come.
I still don’t like Wuthering Heights, but this short story did help me feel a little sympathy for Heathcliff. Or at least, sympathy for him when he was first hurt. There is no excuse for the actions of later… but I digress, this is about The Cord, not the entirety of Wuthering Heights.
I actually thought that this story was going to have a happy ending. Completely expected it, and actually looked forward to it. And then all of my hopes came crashing down at the end. It was actually kind of a sinister ending and one that left the story open to many, many possibilities. It was just… uncomfortable and really quite dark.
I really wasn’t expecting to like this story so much. After all, I’ve found all of the stories in the I Am Heathcliff collection so far powerful and fascinating… but not what I would call enjoyable. They’re all pretty twisted and convoluted…but this one wasn’t really. Alright, it was still what I would consider twisted romance, because it wasn’t really anything romantic or healthy at all. But it didn’t leave me feeling both ill and confused. It just left me smiling in a slightly bemused sort of way.