Today I have the wonderful Kay Woodward talking about her five must-read classics following the release of Wuthering Hearts, her modern retake of the classic Wuthering Heights.
The thing with choosing my must-read classics is that it’s a really tricky task. There are so many of them. But here are the five that I love the most.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This is fabulous. Don’t expect a lot of laughs – Jane Eyre absolutely isn’t a romantic comedy. But do expect to be whisked away into a gothic romance so dark that it’ll have you reaching for the light switch as soon as you open the book. Jane Eyre is a poor, plain, but very feisty governess who meets the mysterious and really quite grumpy owner of Thornfield Manor – Mr Rochester. And if you think you know which way this is heading, think again.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This isn’t a nice, safe read. But keep going and you’ll find that it’s thrilling, spooky, totally romantic and above all else, brilliant. Wuthering Hearts is the story of Heathcliff (dark, brooding) and Cathy (spoilt, wild) and how they get on and then don’t and then… Well, that would be giving it away. But expect turbo tantrums and a whole lot of drama. Oh, and there’s a ghost, too…
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Jo March is one of my favourite heroines ever. I love her dream of being an author and her talent for putting her foot in it – which is something I’m very good at. But I would never cut off all my hair, like she does.
A Room with a View by E M Forster
I love romance, comedy, Italy and the name Lucy Honeychurch, so this one is a no-brainer. FAB.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
OK, let’s get one thing straight. I’m Team Brontë, not Team Austen, but even I have to admit that this is good. No, better than good. The characters are so imprisoned by nineteenth-century manners that almost everything they say is disguised to make it sound like something else. It’s so much fun working out what they really mean and no surprise that all this talking in code leads to misunderstandings galore. There’s Mr Darcy, who is A Bit Too Posh For His Own Good, and Lizzie Bennet, who is The Star of the Show and my second-
favourite heroine after Jane Eyre. This is officially smashing.