Here are some classics that are perfect for a long weekend, particularly when it is cold and you don’t want to leave your house! These are my personal favourite books that I always reach for when I feel like reading something that I know will stay with me long after I put it down. And so, these are the classics that I will always recommend.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
Quasimodo has grown up in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in the fifteenth century, hidden away by the cruel Frollo because of his misshapen body. Esmeralda is a gypsy prosecuted and publicly despised. Both suffer from the judgements of others and it soon becmes clear that the cathedral in which they both hide may have as many dangers as the outdoors.
What I love about this story is the many perspectives that are given. There are not just two protagonists; it is a book about an entire city.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Cathy and Heathcliff are children together and run wild on the moors. It isn’t until Cathy’s father dies that her jealous older brother makes it clear that Heathcliff is no longer welcome at their home, Wuthering Heights
Years later Heathcliff returns, much to Cathy’s delight, but it is obvious that despite his better fortune that he is still the person she remembers – if a lot more aggressive and brutal.
This book has so many characters that are not the usual protagonist. It is very hard to find someone to route for. There is anger, betrayal, and misunderstandings, passion and love that transcends even death, these characters will stay with you long after you have placed the book back on the shelf.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Catherine loves to read, and in the eighteenth century when novels were said to put wild ideas in a young girls head, this is not seen as a good thing.
While staying in Bath she meets many interesting characters, some are simply lovely, and some of will not think twice about taking advantage of her. When Catherine is given the opportunity to visit Northanger abbey it is a dream come true, as it sounds just like the abbeys in the gothic novels that she loves so much. Her love of the gothic makes Northanger Abbey seem like the perfect place to stay, until she begins to notice things that hint at a dangerous past.
I enjoyed the light-hearted feel of this book, as well as Austen’s gentle satire on opinions of women reading.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
This is a story about revenge that is years in the making. There is adventure, and romance, and betrayal, and so many characters that your head might spin, but it is hands down one of my favourite classics of all time.
Life is going well for Edmond Dantés, until the day he is wrongfully imprisoned for being a Bonapartist traitor when Napoleon was emperor. Edmond is imprisoned in a fortress that is surrounded by the sea. The conditions are horrific. Just as Edmond is about to give up he comes in contact with another prisoner who convinces him that escape is possible. Edmond is determined to escape and wreak revenge on all those responsible for putting him through hell, no matter how long it takes.
This is a heavier book, because of its size as well as its topics, but it is one of the most interesting books. If you take the time to invest in this book you will learn that revenge is best served cold.