When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.
(Eh? Like Baby's dad? I know, not funny. Another sad comment on the pop culture quotes running through my mind at any given moment.)
Turns out Wuthering Heights doesn't suck. (I think I just heard the sound of a thousand teenage girls rolling their eyes.) I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it delightful, but I would certainly say it's gripping. One can't help but continue to read the horrors represented by Cathy and her Heathcliff, like listening to the train-wreck story of truly demonic or insane relatives.
How's this for overdramatic?
"I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire." (p. 59 in the Wordsworth Classics version of Emily Bronte's tale -- Catherine Earnshaw is explaining to the housekeeper why she will marry a neighbour suitor, and apparently the housekeeper remembers every work 20 years later)
The story is so dark that, while it seems you are presented with the end before the beginning, you have to keep reading.
Again, I know this is a teenage favourite, and clearly I missed out in high school. I'm not sure what makes it such a favourite, though. Enjoyable, it is. But the characters are completely unlikeable. Any young girl silly enough to think this is a depiction of true love is probably asking for heartbreak in her early life.
(Of course, even those who have never met Heathcliff on the page are bound for heartbreak at some point, right? And there's my positive thought for the day.)
But at the very end of the day, what I find most fascinating is how Emily Bronte could possibly have happened upon her subject matter at all.