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Book Review

The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins

4/5

He book was deemed “sensationalist” in its day; dealing with abduction, female committal to a lunatic asylum, secret societies, control, murder and corruption.

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He book was deemed “sensationalist” in its day; dealing with abduction, female committal to a lunatic asylum, secret societies, control, murder and corruption. The story is written by a number of narrators explaining their perceptions and roles in the events that take place. The voice of the narrator very much reflects the character of the person within in the book. The plot has a number of twists and turns but all is satisfactorily explained by the end. The chapters often end on a cliff hanger; possibly reflecting the book may have been published in instalments ( this was not verified) which made the reader want to continue to discover what happened next. The book is full of description, a positive for some but a negative for others, and is very much a Victorian novel, very long in comparison to some of today’s work. The style of writing was/is very literate perhaps reflecting that as a written work it had to be very comprehensive. Whilst the period may seem narrow by today’s standards it provides a world view.
The characters were well drawn and, unusually for the period, some of the female characters display brains, strength, sense of humour and astuteness. Elements of the plot were possibly predictable and possibly relied on coincidence but remained intriguing.