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wuthering heights

Book Review: Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights

nelly-dean-book-cover

Rating: 4 stars

Young Nelly Dean has been Hindley’s closest companion for as long as she can remember, living freely at the great house, Wuthering Heights. But when the benevolence of the master brings a wild child into the house, Nelly learns she must follow in her mother’s footsteps, be called “servant” and give herself over completely to the demands of the Earnshaw family.

But Nelly is not the only one who finds her life disrupted by this strange newcomer. As death, illness, and passion sweep through the house, Nelly suffers heartache and betrayals at the hands of those she cherishes most, tempting her to leave it all behind. But when a new heir is born, a reign of violence begins that will test even Nelly’s formidable spirit as she finds out what it is to know true sacrifice.

Nelly Dean is a wonderment of storytelling and an inspired accompaniment to Emily Bronte’s adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.

As someone who detested Wuthering Heights after reading it for an English Literature course at my college, I decided to give this book a try to see if it would be any better. Despite how much I didn’t enjoy this book’s inspiration, I found Nelly Dean redeemed the characters for me.

Told from the perspective of one of the servants at Wuthering Heights, this book truly depicts the plot of the original in a way that makes the story and characters seem not so terrible. This book made me view the characters in a different light, even sympathizing with some of them. I found myself better understanding Healthcliff’s predicament and why he hated most of the Earnshaw descendants so much.

Hearing this story from the perspective of Nelly also put a different twist on the story from what you hear in the original. You better understood her view of the following events that unfold as well as the part she plays in it. You discover secrets originally hidden in the original storyline and how important a role servants play in great houses like Wuthering Heights.

Another reason I enjoy this story so much better than Wuthering Heights is because of Nelly’s character. I sympathized with her so much while reading this book. She dealt with a lot of struggles with the Earnshaw family but yet still stayed at the house despite her life circumstances. I understood why she was conflicted to leave her service with this family despite her own mother leaving them behind.

The writing style of this story made it more enjoyable too. I like it because the story is told in letter format, though it doesn’t necessarily follow the style of a letter with each chapter. But you know all of the events being described are addressed directly to Mr. Lockwood, despite none of the letters being sent out. I find this to be interesting though, considering Mr. Lockwood is the narrator of the original book. So in many ways, I felt like Case did a good job of making it seem like he was passing the torch of telling the story to Nelly.

While I enjoy this book much better than the original, I still think a majority of the characters are awful. This book slightly lessened my dislike of the characters, but not by much. It definitely made it easier to sympathize with all of the characters by making them seem more human, but I still don’t like these residents. While I understood Nelly’s conviction to stay there, I also had moments where I thought she should leave them. I feel like her staying there just allowed the pain she experienced to never heal. I get being with a family that feels like your home, but I felt like it was unhealthy and caused her more harm than good. Considering she could’ve gotten a position somewhere else, I just didn’t see why she stayed for so long when she wasn’t happy.

But overall, I enjoyed reading Nelly Dean very much. To the point where I’m actually considering giving Wuthering Heights another chance.

 

If We Were Having Coffee: Off to Work We Go

If We Were Having Coffee Image Eleven

Hello everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a coffee post. But I hope you all have been doing well these past couple weeks.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I went on a mini writing hiatus. I honestly can’t remember the last time I wrote on my blog besides my two recent book reviews. I know I definitely haven’t done one of these posts in a while, that’s for sure. This hiatus wasn’t planned or intentional, just sort of happened and I went along with it. Actually felt nice taking a little bit of a break from my blog for a little while. But at the same time, it’s good to be back.

I miss writing. Whenever I do it, I’m always enjoying every minute of it. But at the same time, I have to be in a certain mindset to do it. I could go more into that here, but I think I want to do a post about it instead. I think it would be a fun post to write too so I think that’s what I’m going to do.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t done too many more posts for Creative Academy either. Mostly because I’m trying to figure out what I want to write about for the next lesson. I have a couple ideas in mind, but will just have to wait and see what happens.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve officially started back to work. This week was my first full week back at the dining hall. Most of the first couple days was spent setting up our café for Wednesday’s opening. But also put in some hours helping on the line and register downstairs too. And so far, it’s been pretty good. I’m trying to be more positive about things in life, work being one of them because I don’t always like my job. It’s not the place I want to be, but it’s better than being unemployed. So I’m trying not to be the way I was when I was at work last year. I think requesting to have weekends off this year will go a long way towards me not feeling quite as discontent there. That along with trying to leave all the work negativity where it belongs: at work. I think just having this type of outlook on work will benefit me there in the long run because I won’t be bringing all of that negativity with me home. We will just have to wait and see if it works, but right now, things have been going well with it. Friday I didn’t work dinner shift because we had some serious storms going on here. The power went out around campus and everything and they figured they wouldn’t need me. We had this type of weather last year where we were out of work for almost a week and I don’t live close by so they wanted me to get home safely. So this weekend came to me earlier than expected, but not going to complain because I felt like I needed it. But so far, things at work have started off pretty well. Fingers crossed they continue to be that way for me in the days to come.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve finished several books since I’ve last done one of these posts. All of the reviews for the books I’ve recently been reading can be found on my blog. But the book I’m currently reading now is called Nelly Dean. It’s a book based off of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, a story considered a classic by many but a book I myself just didn’t enjoy in my English Literature class at college. But the good thing about this book is that it’s told from the perspective of a different character than the original, making it more of an enjoyable read for me. It’s also helped make the characters in the classic more relatable to me and actually like them a lot better. So even though this book is about a cast of characters I originally didn’t particularly care for, I find myself starting to warm up to them a little bit now.

Along with reading Nelly Dean, I’ve also been playing video games a little less frequently. I started playing Transistor the other week and have been playing it a little less due to situating myself at work and been interested in playing Minecraft again due to one of the YouTubers I watch who did some videos of playing a Pokémon world in the game. I haven’t started playing yet due to wanting to finish watching these videos, but I know I’ll be playing some of it again soon in the near future. Will probably be doing a post about that too once I start back on it.

Other than all of the above mentioned, I haven’t done too much. Just settling back into work, attending my best friend’s son’s birthday party yesterday, and going to work on another job application today. Hope you’ve all had a good week and can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to!

 

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