The Woman in White

The Woman in White - The Woman in White was the first book by Wilkie Collins I ever read. Someone had left it at the "Leave a book, Take a book" shelf at my college library. I picked it up.I couldn't put it down. Many people point to The Moonstone as Collins' best book. Not me. The Woman in White is superior. It has everything, or almost everything. There are no elves, dragons, singing bananas. Okay, it doesn't literary have everything, it just feels like it does. It does have doubling, evil husbands, evil Italians, jealous women, smart women, a hapless woman, and a hero who is nice but a little dull (and perhaps shallow). The most interesting character, outside of the villain Fosco, is Marian. Marian is one of those characters who overtakes her creator. You can almost see Collins wrestling for control of the book. Her voice is so real, her character so believable that at times it feels like she is next to you, telling you the story. The book suffers just a little when she is not present. While the story is somewhat sexist by today's standards, Collins should get a round of applause for having the two central female characters truly like and care for each other. Even today, it is far more common to see two such woman in competition. By the end of the book, the reader has come to love Marian as much as the other characters do.If you have never read anything by Collins, start with The Woman in White.