I love a good tragedy, King Lear was fantastic, so ignoring all adaptations in any other medium (except for all those trailers that always come on the BBC every time they have a new drama season starting), I commenced reading this classic with high hopes as it seems many people are big fans. It wasn’t what I was expecting.
This novel is no Romeo and Juliet style romance as I have always been led to believe, forget the romance Hollywood claims it to be about, yes the book is about love and relationships but descends into obsession, rejection and revenge, blind passion and one impenetrable yorkshire accent that you have to say out loud to get what the old codger Joseph is on about.
The books setting, the Yorkshire Moors, are a purgatory sort of place. When characters leave, for whatever reason,they seem to disappear from the small insular reality of the created universe. This sense of dislocation adds immeasurably to the isolated atmosphere.
The pervading sense of bleakness (bleak like the Yorkshire moors that the story is set upon, clever eh.), really gives this book a sense of brooding, you really get the idea there will be a lot of bad stuff happening to the interconnected families.
It really is a story relentless in its hate, anger and grating naivety. Although understandable because of the time and of course the authors background not to mention that of the characters situation there is still a whole lot of complaining to be read through, I found it very frustrating but that is being a mite picky, once the above reasons are factored in. All in all, a good book but not one that really grabbed me.