Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White earns its place in that genre of books I call books that held my hand. Its a masterpiece of character study, of slow, steady & tense anticipation of what will happen, how will it be resolved etc.
Collins’ writing is of the style of that time (naturally) but its never too much and there’s a perfect balance of description and dialogue. There is, of course, the strong and well known mystery aspect of the book but there’s also a subtle commentary on the impact of the social mores of the day on women. This is bought to life by the diverse characters and situations of the four main women and by their ‘servants’ and supporters, and the complexity and humour afforded by Pesco, Fosco and Frederick!
This is a long book, my copy had tiny writing –good value in small package- do read it and let me know what you think. I’m moving on to the latest William Boyd, being still in need of a book to keep my mind from the pain in my back and safe in the knowledge that all of his previous books have been the sort that I can get totally absorbed in.