Today is World Book Day and Saint George’s Day. In Catalonia, we have the lovely tradition of giving books and roses to our beloved ones. Originally, men used to give roses to women, and women gave books to men. But in these modern days, it’s usual that a woman gets a book, too — and I prefer it this way, of course!
So today I’d like to write about my favourite book and try to explain to you why I’d bring it to my desert island.
Think about it: if you could only choose one book to read for the rest of your life, what book would that be and why?
If you’re a booklover like me, you might find this ridiculous. Pick only one book? Why?! Bookworms don’t have only one favourite book. We may have many, and all of them are our picks of the litter for many different reasons.
But if I had to pick only one book, I’d say the famous 19-century romance Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. When I read it for the first time, I was a 21-year-old gothic girl who had a predilection for morbid fashion and vampire stories — especially Anne Rice’s novels.
At that time, I fell hopelessly in love with a Sicilian guy that I met at a party. We spent a few wonderful nights together and I felt like I was in a dream.
In fact, Luca somehow resembled the fangy characters of my beloved stories because he was indeed dark and brooding: his hair and eyebrows were so black and dense as the night, and so were his penetrating eyes, when he looked at you in the most intimidating way possible. Also, he was a melancholic man and a lost soul, and he was mostly seen at night — and obviously, that made me adore him.
But he didn’t love me back.
I was devastated. I spent several days locked in my bedroom crying over my broken heart. My mom didn’t know what to do with me anymore: I didn’t want to eat; I didn’t want to see anyone either — except for my mom when she came into my bedroom to comfort me. All I wanted to do was sleeping so my brain stopped thinking about that despicable man who had just rejected me.
One day, when my tears had finally dried up, I was sitting on my bed with nothing to do. I clapped my eyes on my bookshelf of classic books, which I had collected for a long time in the pursuit of becoming a well-read young lady. And then I randomly picked Wuthering Heights, don’t ask me why.
Thing is, I got totally hooked on it from beginning to end. Not only was I fascinated by the tragic love story between Catherine and Heathcliff, but also by the extraordinary resemblance between Luca and Heathcliff, who was usually described as ‘brooding’ and who also came from a strange land.
Of course, then I had a well-developed imagination and used to see ghosts where there were none!
But the thing is that I established an intense link with that book, maybe because of my life circumstances at that moment, when I was so vulnerable after being brokenhearted. I guess everything was magnified by how I was feeling.
And it’s not that I haven’t read better books since then. It’s just that I believe I’ve never experienced again what Emily Brontë’s only novel made me feel when I was 21. I got over Luca a long time ago (in fact, we are good friends now, and phone each other every once in a while), but Wuthering Heights will always have a place in my heart.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favourite book and why?