I am so glad I picked this up by random choice, because it has become one of my most beloved tales. It is so easy to get into - starting off original and funny and quickly slipping into mystery and page-tearing intrigue.
Each character will capture your heart or your contempt as you follow this dark tale. You are immediately drawn into sympathy with them as they unfold their mystery as you, the reader, does. They are among my most favourite characters ever.
The structure of the book means you get precise and detailed accounts of everything, so there is no chance of missing anything important in the mystery. It does ensure you are a part of every moment. I love Marian's diary entries.
The book is thick(er than some) and the pages are thin, but Collins' prose moves you along at such a pace. Everytime I picked it up I said "only 10 or so pages" and I ended up 100 pages into it once again and a cold cuppa next to me.
There is a hefty intro and endless asterisk throughout with notes in an appendix. Don't read these till you finish the book as they give stuff away you don't want to uncover before Walter or Marian does!!
Also, the narrative of Mr Fairlie is the most hilarious chapter I've ever read. I COULD NOT stop laughing. Every sentence just got funnier. Perhaps it was just relief from the darker mood of the book, (which is of course its objective) but it was so funny. Mr Fairlie is a highly entertaining character and Collins' quirky prose excels when writing him.
I keep trying to get people to read this beautiful story, but they see it and go "oh no..." but please, dally no longer and buy it. It's an absolute bargain for 1.50! You get a fantastic, harrowing, gripping story that will stay with you for years. Forget this month's magazine and invest in The Woman in White. It's worth it.