Booked All Week

and next week, too

The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins

with 14 comments

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, The Woman in White is one of my new all-time favorite books! Mysteries and thrillers aren’t usually my thing, but I’m a total sucker for anything written in the Victorian era, so in that context I was willing to give one a try. And I couldn’t be happier that I did.

It’s hard to say much about the plot without giving anything away, so I’ll have to keep the synopsis pretty short and vague. Mr. Hartwright, a drawing instructor, is on his way to Limmeridge House where he is to spend the next few months teaching the young ladies of the house, when he encounters a strange woman–yes, in white–who asks him for directions and then is off before he can find out her name, or what she’s doing by herself at night on a secluded road, or why she’s in such a hurry. He confides in Marian Halcombe, one of the sisters of Limmeridge, and together they begin to discover that the reappearing, elusive, mysterious woman in white is connected with the history of the sisters’ family in some way, and she has a secret which they must uncover from her–indeed, their lives may depend on knowing it–and quickly, lest the malevolent forces which had kept her silent so long come first to silence them!

I know it’s not much, but I hope it’s enough to inspire your curiosity if you haven’t read it before. It was truly a fun, suspenseful read, and it was difficult to make myself take breaks. I don’t usually like it that much when a story is told from multiple perspectives and the narrator changes, but in this case it really added to the story. It also allowed me to get to know Marian Halcombe, my favorite protagonist of the book. Though she has a general dislike for other members of her own sex, she is an intelligent, active, and courageous heroine who makes no apologies for her brazen wit and opinions. She’s fantastic. Collins writes a whole host of interesting characters into this book, but Marian definitely stole the show. Thank you, Mr. Collins, for writing her into existence.

The characters, the plot, the writing–it all came together in this one perfectly. Needless to say, I’ll be reading more Wilkie Collins in the future.

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Written by Emily Jane

January 12, 2011 at 12:24 am

Posted in Novels

Tagged with ,

14 Responses

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  1. Marian IS great, isn’t she? She was so great I spent most of the book confident that Walter was going to fall in love with her for being interesting, and forget all about pretty, vapid Laura. When, er, a certain event occurred halfway through the book, I was sure that’s what was going to happen.

    Jenny

    January 12, 2011 at 1:23 am

    • You know, I kind of thought that would happen too, and kinda still wish it had. I certainly forgot all about Laura whenever Marian was around! Ah, well.

      Emily Jane

      January 12, 2011 at 2:03 am

  2. Wow, you made this book sound really interesting… which is great because it is on my tbr shelf ­čÖé

    amymckie

    January 12, 2011 at 1:26 am

  3. Oh good! I think you’ll really like it, Amy ­čÖé

    Emily Jane

    January 12, 2011 at 2:03 am

  4. Woohoo! This was the one that made me fall in love with Wilkie. ­čśÇ He has so many other great ones: have fun exploring!

    Eva

    January 12, 2011 at 9:22 am

  5. I loved this book too one the great victorian books and the start of detective fiction must reread it soon ,all the best stu

    winstonsdad

    January 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    • Yeah, I hardly ever reread, but I kind of want to reread this one right away!

      Emily Jane

      January 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

  6. Marian is so awesome! I love Wilkie. You must read No Name! I thought you’d love that one to pieces.

    nymeth

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

  7. Great review, I can’t wait to read this book!

    Willa

    January 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

  8. […] The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins […]

  9. […] Collins won my heart with The Woman in White last year and┬áThe Moonstone┬áresolutely confirmed my love.┬áThis mystery is told from the […]


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