Rating: 4 stars
I read the Project Gutenberg edition of The Woman In White, which was a decent version without too many glitches, just the odd weird page break.
Wilkie Collins‘s story is rightly a classic. This is stirring stuff, with plenty of mystery and suspense. There are wonderful characters, both charming and horrific. My heart was in my mouth at times as I read about the cruelty humans can enact on one another in the pursuit of money. It was always believable, never hysterical or florid, and even minor characters were well imagined.
I loved the setting, with the recently popular railway system providing ample means to travel to and from London, committing crimes and solving crimes. I loved the extra edge that early Victorian methods of communication added to the tension – having to wait a whole day for your letter to be delivered and a reply received! I thought all of the characters were well written, including the minor ones who felt as real as the main protagonists. My only quibble is the false ending, and what to me was the unnecessary exposition explaining all at that false ending. I was ready for the book to end, and there was the culprit’s statement in full. Followed by some mopping up and a, thankfully, happy ending after everything that had gone on before.
A classic for good reason.