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.
This short story was quite uncomfortable to say the least. It was a really interesting tale. Certainly, one that I enjoyed reading… but not one that I felt… comfortable about at the end. After all, the romance is between a man and his cat-turned-woman. And although it could have been considered a love story, I just couldn’t get the idea that the woman in the story started out as a cat.
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 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.
From the outset it is obvious that this was a story about a not so healthy love. I mean, the whole I Am Heathcliff collection is kind of about unhealthy love. But this seemed a little more obviously unhealthy than some of the other tales. And a little bit more relatable to be honest, it was far more contemporary and written in a way that you can almost, almost relate to Heidi.
This was a great play on the haunting of Heathcliff. It took the ideas and themes that highlight how badly Heathcliff treated Catherine, but twisted them into something a little more contemporary. Rather, it isn’t Catherine’s counterpart which is providing the haunting, but she does encourage it. And finds a way to twist it about so that he isn’t able to get away with his past and present actions.
This is disturbing.
The week before I read this I made an attempt at reading Wuthering Heights. I say attempt because I kind of hated it. Not the writing or the storyline, but the characterisation. So I wanted to tackle a retelling immediately after. After all, I like the idea of everything in the original, I just found Heathcliff so damn douchey that my rage couldn’t get past it to enjoy everything else that was going on. Black Spring helped to cure me of this.