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on 16 November 2013
This is another early detective novel/ thriller, though not a "whodunnit?| like "The Moonstone".

The plot is something of a melodrama (beautiful women defrauded by evil aristocrats), but the author clearly thought hard about how to resolve the story, and it would be great if many modern authors showed the same diligence in their plot resolution.

Collins uses the same device as in "The Moonstone", with multiple narrators telling their part of the story. Occasionally the "voice" of these narrators slips into stereotype, as does the characterisation (I'm sure a modern day Italian might be less than thrilled at the characterisation of Pesca and Fosco), but overall it's a great example of an ancestor of the modern day detective novel.
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on 10 December 2016
This story was full of mystery and intrigue from beginning to end!! The drawings within the story were an added bonus and beautifully drawn. The imagination within this narrative was amazing and I found it hard to put it down as could hardly wait to resume reading. I loved the manner of writing of that time and it's one of the most fascinating books I have had the joy of reading. If you like books that are full of mystery and excellent descriptive writing then this is the book for you!
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on 28 September 2016
I think when you're reading this you need to remember when it's written and accept that everything about it, from the plot to the characters, is not going to be what you would expect from a thriller written today. With this in mind I quite enjoyed The Woman in White, my only criticism which stands today as I think it would have v then, is that the ending was a little deflated.
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on 22 May 2013
I had to read this book for my book group, its a long book and I wasn't particularly looking forward to it for that reason but I started reading it with an open mind. It was easy to read except for the flowery prose but as it was written so long ago and the so called art of conversation was a form of entertainment at the time, that is the way they spoke and that is therefore the way it is written. Other than that the story was believable. The characters made you feel, liking, loathing, frustration and wondering what was coming next. It retained my interest until around half way through at which point I could not decide whether to carry on or not. At that point I cheated, I looked it up on Wikipedia so I knew how if would all pan out, strange as it may seem that encouraged me to read it to the end. Overall I'm glad I read it, it was a friend's choice and she had read it before. Not sure I would read it again but glad I took the time to read it once.
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on 29 November 2011
This novel more or less opens with a young man who encounters a mysterious woman dressed in white on the road to London. After helping this woman reach her destination, the man becomes embroiled in one very complex mystery.

As The Woman in White is classed as a 'Victorian sensation novel' there is romance, stolen identity's, strange foreigners, a secret society and an asylum. Its all good and intriguing stuff. As the novel is told by different narrators all telling just part of the overall story, the reader is close to the mystery and has to solve it themselves by slotting all the narrators accounts together.

There are parts which rely purely on coincidence and can be a little far fetched but that's all part of the fun and the story is fast paced with injections of humour. That's not to say that it's all fun however. The plight and the treatment of women during that time is described well as is the shear ease of committing a person to a lunatic asylum.

One aspect of this book which did surprise me was the familiarity I had with Sarah Waters Fingersmith, even one of the plot elements. After reading this it is not hard to see how Waters drew inspiration from Victorian literature of this type.
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on 22 April 2017
I love the novel but do not like the format or presentation of this book. I bought it to replace my often read rather tatty old copy but on receiving this book I have gone back to reading my old copy loose pages and all.
The book is bigger but the print is small . It has nothing to recommend it in my opinion.
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on 23 September 2013
The Woman in White is the best thriller in the English language. All the characters are credible characters rather than cardboard cut outs. The central crime in the story is copied from a genuine criminal case while the meeting with the woman in white is based on a real event in Collins' life.
The story is told by having different characters tell their experience of the events. This, of course, is what would happen in a criminal trial. Thus we receive the views of even the unsympathetic characters on the events of the story.
This book is a compelling read from end to end until al the pieces of all the puzzles have fallen in to place
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on 13 February 2013
The story is told through the individual characters as it progresses. One after another, they relate the events from their individual perspective and eventually the reader gets through an ever-changing opinion of exactly what occurred in the plot.

That sounds very cold and dry, but the story-line is actually gripping. Set the early 1800's, the language used is flowery and embellished with courteous phrases of the time, but even so it is not difficult to understand and follow the events. There is intrigue, romance, mystery, tragedy and both noble dastardly deeds to give the story its substance. In fact, so good is the story that a new film is being made from the book starring Daniel Radcliffe.

At the price, i.e. free, you really can't go wrong and I would encourage you to read this book. It is not a short story, so prepare to be intrigued and possibly like me, be captivated.
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on 15 August 2017
Wilkie Colins is the undoubted master of the gripping and twisting novel. This is no exception. The characters are drawn such as to be likeable...and dislikeable...and, as with others of his books, the plot is written from the point of view of more than one of them. Entertaining and easy to read...couldn't put it down.
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on 9 August 2013
Much better than I expected and it was free!

A good, interesting story but a little slow to start, then when the 'adventure' begins it really picks up the pace. Wilkie Collins does like to describe things in great detail which does slow the pace a little, but this is a 'classic' novel so I did expect it to be a steady read.

It is a long book but it kept my interest right to the end, even though I did figure out the twist in the story.

Spoiler Alert!!

How did Walter manage to marry Laura when at the time she was supposed to be dead and using the identity of Anne Catherick? How did they get that past the Registrar? If he married her in the name of Anne Catherick, wouldn't the marriage have been null and void?
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