The Haunting Of Houses

Written by Maureen Peters
Review by Mary Sharratt

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, this unusual novel tells the story of Aspen Stewart, Heathcliff’s daughter, born of a loveless marriage in Ireland, where Heathcliff fled after Cathy wed Linton. Heathcliff’s marriage to the Irish heiress makes him a wealthy man of business, but the heiress herself dies after Aspen’s birth. Orphaned Aspen only sees her father every few years, but slowly comes under his thrall. After his death, she travels to Yorkshire to carry out his unfinished business, insinuating herself between lovers, Hareton and young Cathy (the original Cathy’s daughter).

The evocation of rural Ireland and Yorkshire is lyrical and lovely. However, the portrayal of Heathcliff suffers from clichés – he snarls and his lip is forever curled. Some readers may find the frisson of erotic attraction between him and his daughter distasteful. Despite the allure of Heathcliff and the romance of the landscape, the book isn’t spooky or suspenseful enough to work as a proper ghost story.