Monday, July 11, 2011

Cold Room. Dark Nights.

I once heard, or perhaps read, something about a girl desiring a boy so badly she wanted to lick the meat from his bones (for real or metaphorically?). What a mad form of desire. That's a form of blood lust that leads down a path of utter insanity, is it not? A demented expression of true lust. Vampirism.

How dare she? 
Or we? 

Desire. Possession. It's deliciously and delicately sinister. It's exquisitely dramatic and brings to mind images (for me at least) of bright red lips and crimson tongues-dancing. Dark rooms with even darker corners. The sweet smell of rotting wood in an abandoned house in the summer heat--empty but for the mattress in the corner of the upstairs bedroom cushioning the bodies of lovers in a secret tryst. Mingled in clean linens. Sweating. Breathing... It's all there. The imagery stabs you like a knife when it comes to these violent expressions of passion. Slasher style obsessions. Rolling heads on a platter devotion.

Wait a minute... where was I?

These are the types of sentiments that roiled the dregs of my already somewhat darkened imagination concerning affairs of the heart. I can't help it. I find these themes inspiring. And rarely have I found places to anchor these thoughts in a satisfactory way. Sometimes a book will do that for me.

So, it has been my deep pleasure to have lived vicariously, for almost 48 hours straight (sans sleep), through the eyes of the love-sickened Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights infamy. I stayed up all night long reading Heathcliff's Return to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant. I've been pouring over this book, devouring every word like mad. I read Wuthering Heights last winter and I found it to be, well, I don't know... I guess it made me feel the same way the cold-room in the basement of a house we used to live in did. 

And so goes my thought process... The cold-room held preserves I never ate. Mason jars with dust and dead things inside. It was eerie, cheerless, grey, mysterious and frightening all at once. It, of course, captured my intense attention. I can't say I liked it. I can't really say it matters whether or not I liked it. It seems absurd to even discuss it. Whether I liked it or not was not the point. It existed for a reason all its own. It kept the dead things available and relatively fresh. It is borne of the necessity to house rows upon rows of dead eggs. Dead fruit. Dead vegetables. Dead. All dead. Pickled. Edible.

Wuthering Heights offers this same gloomy sense of forbidden fruit. The parallels go on and on. 

As for this other book? This addendum? It is good. It is really good. It is well written. I am not expert but it takes a lot to please me as a reader and this book pleased me in spades. The bones of the story come to the reader in the form of a letter supposedly penned by Heathcliff himself while he was away from Wuthering Heights and his beloved Cathy. 

A story in the form of a man writing a love letter? I am immediately hooked. I can't think there would be anything more fascinating than to learn, through the written word, the inner trappings of the masculine mind. Especially one as tragic and brooding as the character of Heathcliff. Can't you picture the dark eyes, the dark hair? The intensity of the hands as they scratch word after word across the page... The broad shoulders slumped over a desk, sickened by love and the weight of the sense of losing it? 

Hmmm... well. Hold on--I need a cigarette.

Ok. I am back.

(I actually don't smoke cigarettes. That was a little humor on my part.)

As you can likely tell, I loved the concept of the guy writing to the girl. But I am nothing if not a woman who adores written forms of affection. Why? I don't know. I just do. So this book had me at hello.
There is a twist to the story which ties into another Bron classic but I don't want to give it away. There is conclusion and conflict you may find as satisfying as I did. It's worth the time. I lost sleep for this book. Once the delirium sets in it starts to get really good. Have at it, folks. Have at it and have fun.

And that, dear reader, is the best I have to offer by way of a book review.

The end.

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