WHAT SOULS ARE MADE OF: A WUTHERING HEIGHTS REMIX (REMIXED CLASSICS, 4), by Tasha Suri, Feiwel & Friends, July 5, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Tasha Suri retells Emily Brontë’s beloved Wuthering Heights in Feiwel & Friends latest Remixed Classic, What Souls Are Made Of.
Yorkshire, North of England, 1786. As the abandoned son of a lascar ― a sailor from India ― Heathcliff has spent most of his young life maligned as an “outsider.” Now he’s been flung into an alien life in the Yorkshire moors, where he clings to his birth father’s language even though it makes the children of the house call him an animal, and the maids claim he speaks gibberish.
Catherine is the younger child of the estate’s owner, a daughter with light skin and brown curls and a mother that nobody talks about. Her father is grooming her for a place in proper society, and that’s all that matters. Catherine knows she must mold herself into someone pretty and good and marriageable, even though it might destroy her spirit.
As they occasionally flee into the moors to escape judgment and share the half-remembered language of their unknown kin, Catherine and Heathcliff come to find solace in each other. Deep down in their souls, they can feel they are the same.
But when Catherine’s father dies and the household’s treatment of Heathcliff only grows more cruel, their relationship becomes strained and threatens to unravel. For how can they ever be together, when loving each other ― and indeed, loving themselves ― is as good as throwing themselves into poverty and death? —Synopsis provided by Feiwel & Friends
What Souls Are Made of is my least favorite of the Remixed Classics, in part because I’ve never particularly cared for the source material (I’d much prefer to sit down with Jane Eyre, written by Emily’s sister Charlotte).
My hope going into What Souls Are Made Of was that I would be able to come at the story afresh, much like author Tasha Suri does. In this retelling, the. Story unfolds from the alternating viewpoints of Cathy and Heathcliff. Indian colonialism plays a large role in this retelling, adding meat to the story.
Suri does a commendable job capturing the Gothic spirit so prevalent in Wuthering Heights and her settings, particularly the moors, are spot on.
If only I cared for the characters. The lack of connection with both main characters and the slow pacing had me turning to other books in between chapters. It took me a few days to make it a fourth of the way through, and I ended up not finishing. I’ve heard that things do pick up later in the book, and more “qualities” come to light, but it wasn’t worth it to me to keep pushing through.
I suggest reading a sample of What Souls Are Made Of prior to purchase to see if it’s a good fit for you.
What Souls Are Made Of is the fourth book in the Reclaimed Classics series from Feiwel & Friends. The other books include So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix (Sept. 2021), A Clash Of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix (Sept. 2021), and Travelers Along the Way (March 2022).
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