Completion Date: October 6, 2011
Reason for Reading: R.I.P. Challenge VI; Reading Swap
I wanted an e-reader to read more classics. I have always had issues with the fact that the font is so little in most of the editions out there. I find small font a huge turn-off no matter how good the book sounds. The Woman in White is a book that I have heard endless good things about, but this is the first time I have actually read it. The very first book I read on my e-reader was The Moonstone by Collins, but I never reviewed it. I knew that Collins could write a story, though, and this was no exception. I was hooked from the very beginning this time around instead of getting bored in the very beginning. I was very disappointed when I was freshly into the story and my e-reader battery died on me. It was not a fast read. It was more a book I wanted to savour and read when the mood struck me. It was a very atmospheric read that was perfect for this time of the year.
One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White was a phenomenal bestseller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Dickens, Collins’s friend and mentor. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall readers today.
The story begins with an eerie midnight encounter between artist Walter Hartright and a ghostly woman dressed all in white who seems desperate to share a dark secret. The next day Hartright, engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie and her half sister, tells his pupils about the strange events of the previous evening. Determined to learn all they can about the mysterious woman in white, the three soon find themselves drawn into a chilling vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue.
The book could probably best be described as a mystery. The book is broken into sections where the chief players of the story tell their side of things and their observations. There is an underlining main character who brings all these people together and who starts the story off. He returns later on to take more turns and fill in the gaps of the story. He is also the hero and the love interest of Laura, the young heiress that gets wrapped up in a horrifying conspiracy. The book all revolves around Anne Catherick. She is the title character. She meets Mrs. Fairlee, Laura's mother, while young and takes an intense liking to her. The woman tells her that she looks good in white and Anne remembers that for many years after. It adds a ghostly quality to her story and makes her appearances sinister and atmospheric. We quickly learn that things have not always been easy for the young woman and she has a past that readers will be curious about from the very beginning.
My fear with this book is firstly that it has been reviewed many, many times before, so people probably don't need to see yet another person saying that they really enjoyed the book and are so happy they read it. If you haven't read it yet, you really should. It is the perfect read for this time of the year and I look forward to reading more from Collins in the future. Secondly, it is the sort of book where Collins attempts to have twists and turns, so you don't want someone gushing about the book and giving away a major plot device. I knew I wanted to read this book, but despite paying attention to the fact people enjoyed it, I tried very hard to not have anything spoiled. This worked out really well for me and I don't want to ruin things for anyone else.
I will just be happy that I finally read it.