Sunday, May 11, 2008
40. "The Woman in White" - Wilkie Collins
A mysterious woman in white... is she a ghost? A spectral predicting the future? A blood and bones warning?
Bah. I lost interest by the third "act."
The plot was compelling and chilling, and I can imagine the goosebumps of parlor guests as someone read this aloud 140+ years ago. The story of two sisters, one ill-fated to marry a gold-digging man though in love with her art teacher, is intriguing in the theory behind the mystery. And I love mysteries. However, I do not like plodding through five pages of repetitive clue dropping and useless dialogue to get to the point. If those five pages were beautifully written, then we'd have a different discussion.
So, I tried reading every fourth or fifth page. It worked. I understood the mystery and zipped through this 500-page monster.
If I had heard it read aloud while darning socks or embroidering handkerchiefs next to oil lamps or candles, I would have adored it. But in this time...
2.5 out of 5.0 White Ladies.