Thanks to a post on A Little Blog of Books, I just found out about #ThisBook, a campaign by the Baileys Prize for Fiction to nominate the book by a woman writer which has had the biggest impact on you.
For me it was no contest, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I first read it as a teenager, then again as it was a set book on my IB English course at college. And then I’ve read it several times since. I love it on so many levels. The passion, the characters, the setting. Its dark and stormy, and has some of the most beautiful lines in literature, in my opinion
“If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely miserable.”
“Because you are not fit to go there,” I answered. “All sinners would be miserable in heaven.”
“But it is not for that. I dreamt once I was there.”
“I tell you I won’t hearken to your dreams, Miss Catherine! I’ll go to bed,” I interrupted again.
She laughed, and held me down; for I made a motion to leave my chair.
“This is nothing, ” cried she: “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”
“If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained and he were annihilated, the universe would turn into a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure any more than I am pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don’t talk of our separation again: it is impracticable;”