Book Reviews

Review: What Souls Are Made Of by Tasha Suri

It’s been so long since I read Wuthering Heights, but I remember thinking of it with a bit of confusion. I wasn’t sure if I understood the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. So when I saw Tasha Suri’s retelling of it, What Souls Are Made Of, I knew I had to re-visit them! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: abusive family dynamics, physical abuse, emotional abuse, child endangerment, racism, mentions of slavery, parental death, alcoholism

From the beginning, I was captivated by What Souls Are Made Of. Suri is able to not only captivate Heathcliff’s feeling of Otherness, but also this kindred spirit that both he and Catherine share. Beginning with an almost external POV looking inwards, What Souls Are Made Of is dual POV but also like they’re speaking to each other. This simple narration choice solidifies these characters in our minds and hearts. Furthermore, it solidifies the ways in which they cannot escape each other. How even apart, they think of their memories and the ways in which they speak to each other.

In What Souls Are Made Of Suri does not shy away from the ways Catherine and Heathcliff hurt each other. How when we love someone, we know exactly what to say to wound them. At the same time, Suri describes the ways in which we can be sure of what we want, of who we want. That we end up hurting the ones we never would want to in the process. What resonated with me in What Souls Are Made Of is how Suri describes the world hardening us.


It can seek to strip us of kindness and mercy. Of compassion and love. But to choose love, to find our own kindness, is an act of strength. What Souls Are Made Of manages to be utterly bewitching in the ways they speak to each other. Echoing the ones we love without even knowing it. What Souls Are Made Of is committed to showing the ways two souls can speak to each other, disappoint our loved ones, and the games we play. But it also examines what it means to be love, to be loved, to have love and to seek it.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

The people we sacrifice for ourselves and the pieces of ourselves we cut away for love. What Souls Are Made Of takes the foundation of Wuthering Heights and expands on the characters we have come to know and the love that they share. Find What Souls Are Made Of on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite angsty classic love story?

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