I’m very excited to announce that I am one step closer to achieving the most challenging of my New Years book resolutions. I’ve read 1/4 of the huge classic novels I hope to read this year by demolishing Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. I say demolished, because I thought it would take me weeks and I would find it hard going, but not a bit of it! I’ve read it in under a week, all 620+ pages of it.
This is the beautiful edition I read, a Christmas gift from my mum. I had spare time to read this week because I’ve been home with a chest infection. So, on Tuesday I was bored, and my mum challenged me by saying “I bet you won’t read The Woman in White“. Reader: I did.
Now, having spent time on and off for five days reading this classic Victorian ‘Sensation novel’, I’m so glad I picked it up. It provided a fantastic amount of entertainment and at times the suspense was unbearable.
Having also read The Moonstone several years ago, I think the thing I like about Collins’ writing is also what sometimes frustrates me and gets me a bit (very temporarily) fed up. I love switching narrators, but he does tend to stick with a narrator until I’m devastated to part company with them, then brings me a different narrator I get into, then snatches them away too. Anyway, the suspense in the middle: wow, this author knows how to ramp it up. At times I was afraid for his characters. At the end I was almost elated for them.
The villains. I can’t leave a review of The Woman in White without mentioning first how dastardly and evil some of the villains of this piece are. I leave you to find out who they are for yourself, lest I spoil it, but suffice it to say they make some villains look positively lovely.
In case I haven’t gushed enough already, as you can tell, I was absolutely hooked by this book. From start to finish I was gripped, my attention only waning once or twice which is amazing in a book of more than 600 pages. I’m pleased to have read it, and enjoyed the various personalities, twists and suspenses throughout.
I would give The Woman in White at least 8/10.