The novel revolves around two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, respectively inhabited by the Earnshaws and the Lintons. At the beginning of the story Mr Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, visits his landlord Heathcliff, but he's forced to stay the night due to a snowstorm. Mr Lockwood has a strange dream about a girl, Catherine, who asks him to let her in after 20 years of wandering in the moors. The next day he returns to Thrushcross Grange and the maid, Nelly, tells him the whole story of the family from the Heights. Mr Earnshaw, one day came back from Liverpool with a foundling, who was named Heathcliff. Hindley mistreated him, while Catherine got on well with him. One day Catherine was bitten by one of the Lintons' dogs and she stayed at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks, which gave her the opportunity to know Edgar and Isabella, as well as their elegant life. As she came back to Wuthering Heights she was spoilt and whimsical. A few years later Edgar proposed to her and she accepted, even though she loved Heathcliff, who was socially inferior. Heathcliff overheard the conversation between Catherine and Nelly as she said that, and disappeared. He returned three years later, handsome and rich, he won the possession of Wuthering Heights gambling with Hindley, then he married Isabella Linton, but treated her like a servant.
In the meantime Catherine fell ill and died giving birth to a daughter, also named Catherine, who was kidnapped by Heathcliff, years later, in order to force her to marry his weak and spoilt son, Linton. His revenge was complete as he became the owner of Thrushcross Grange. Nelly's narrative ends here.
Mr Lockwood leaved Yorkshire and comes back after a year to find out that both Linton and Heathcliff are dead and Cathy and Hareton, Hindley's son, are going to get married and live happily. Nelly tells Mr Lockwood that there are rumors that the figures of two lovers have been seen wandering together in the moors.