Monday, February 9, 2009

The Woman in White by Wilke Collins

Title: The Woman in White
Author: Wilkie Collins
Finished: February 2009
Pages: 564

This was the January pick for the IRL book club that I am a member of, and I have to say that I am so grateful to have been exposed to this particular book. It was some rough going at the very beginning (since it is a Victorian novel that was written in the 19th century), but once I got the rhythm down, it was incredibly enjoyable! I love the way the book is set up, with the story being told by different narrators. This is such an interesting concept, since not everyone is privy to every aspect of every storyline in real life. You also learn along the way which narrators you trust and those you question. Did things really happen they way they are being portrayed or was this their own personal manipulation of the other characters involved?!?! Very interesting to say the least!

Laura Fairly is a young maiden, striving to uphold the wishes of her father on his deathbed. One of his last acts was to betrove her to marry Sir Percival Glyde. In a perfect world this would be a magical thing, with him being a Sir and all, but what is a young woman to do when she discovers that her heart belongs to someone else? Luckily she has her best friend Marian there by her side helping her through life's obstacles.

Walter Hartright is asked to come to Limmeridge (the Fairlie's mansion, to teach Laura and Marian to paint. On his last night in town Walter encounters a woman dressed in all white strolling the streets in the middle of the night. She appears to him out of no where and asks him to point her in the right direction towards London. Once they get closer, he finds her a carriage and she is whisked away. Moments after her carriage leaves, another set of horses enters the street, looking for a woman dressed in all white. Walter is hidden from view as these men inquire about the woman in white, only to overhear them say she has escaped from an asylum. From this moment on, their lives and fates and very much intertwined.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery! My only words of advice and to know up front that it may take some pages to get used to the language and really get into the storyline, but it is very much worth the time!! I thought this was a great pick for a book club because of all the wonderful aspects that are there to discuss!

There are so many wonderful things about this book that I would love to share, but I wouldn't want to spoil the story for anyone who is interested in reading it. I feel like this is one of those books that I will pick up again in a few years to re-read and will probably end up finding it even more enchanting and find things that I possibly missed the first time.


Laura said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this one too! I agree that it took a little bit of time to get used to the writing, but it became much easier to understand. I'm sad you weren't at the book club meeting to talk about it though.

Kari said...

Laura - I'm sad I wasn't there as well. I was really looking forward to hearing everyone else's perspective and thoughts. I felt like there were so many things available to discuss. I'm not sure if I ever asked how the meeting went. Was there quite a bit on interaction?

Trish said...

I'm sad you weren't there also. :( We'll have to read more classic-y type books in the future. I agree that they are really tough to get into sometimes, but a lot of times so worth it!