Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Summaries of this classic are so widely available (Wikipedia entry here) that I'll go directly to why I recommend this book. As with other works that were first published in serialized installments (from Dickens to Armistead Maupin), the episodic quality is part of its appeal. Piecing together a puzzle through multiple viewpoints; wrongful incarceration in a mental institution; a dastardly evil count; and volatile family secrets are some of the other attractions. I also liked the characters of Walter and Marian very much, even though Laura Fairlie seemed too weak and insipid to have inspired such devoted love and loyalty from them.
I did not like some of the Victorian-era viewpoints, such as the belief that no woman could create art as good as that of a male artist, but that didn't detract from my overall enjoyment.
Readalikes: Fingersmith (Sarah Waters) for a lesbian take on Victorian skulduggery.