NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Monday, March 2, 2009


by Wilkie Collins

"Hailed as a classic the moment it was written in 1859, The Woman in White uses a dozen different narrators to tell the tale of a man's determination to save the woman he loves in the face of the worst intentions of the sly Sir Percival Glyde and the magnificent Count Fosco." (From the CD container)

One of the earliest examples of the Victorian Sensation Novel, The Woman In White was a long book but well worth the time. It took its sweet time laying down the back-story, but once the mystery started to kick in, I was hooked.

I really liked the many changes in narrative view point. Just when I started to get bored or agitated with one, it switched! Each character and perspective is unique, refreshing and adds a different spin on the unfolding tale. You're never quite sure which testimonies are trustworthy until the end. I listened to the audio version of this book, and the narrators were fabulous! I especially liked the portrayal of Laura Fairley's elitist hypochondriac of an uncle, Frederick Fairlie, with his frail and eternally suffering voice.

And here are the questions we modern women nearly always find ourselves ruminating over: What is it that these leading men see in their beautiful, empty-headed, helpless leading ladies? And why is the brilliant companion always an ugly spinster? I know, I know. Put myself in their time and I'll see the answer. Maybe. :-) I think I'd rather be the ugly but brilliant spinster, since being beautiful kept getting these poor women married off to the likes of Sir Percival Glyde.


Meghan said...

I love this book. I think I'd prefer to be the brainy spinster, too. I never understand why the men don't want interesting women as wives - or why smart women are always ugly! Silly Victorian novelists.

chartroose said...

I'd rather be the brilliant ugly spinster too, hey wait, I AM the brilliant ugly spinster!

It's an age old dilemma--the helpless, brainless, sucker-fish lipped, big boobied types got picked by the "Sir's" while all the really good women were left alone and destitute. Sigh.

May I have that beautiful little Jack Cousteau Adventure Kitty for my very own? Pretty please?

Charley said...

This sounds pretty good - I'll add it to my list. I recall enjoying The Moonstone when I read it for school.

Lezlie said...

Meghan ~ It seems to me an awful lot of modern men go for the beautiful, brainless ones, too, now that I think about it. Maybe things haven't changed much after all. Or maybe I've just seen too many commercials for "The Girls Next Door". :-)

Chartroose ~ LOL! I'm not buying the "ugly" part. :-) Jack is pretty fabulous, isn't he? He's my little old man kitty! Not quite as adventurous as he used to be, but he's a great cuddler now!

Charley ~ I think The Moonstone is the other book of his on the original 1001 Books list. It's nice to know that one is good, too, for when I get to it!


Lightheaded said...

I've been meaning to read this for the longest time (I think since the RIP Challenges started a couple or so years back) and I've a copy I downloaded from the Project Gutenberg site for ages!

Ooh, I'm a brainy spinster myself. Hahaha! Rather, I'd like to think of myself that way. Hahaha!

Lezlie said...

Lightheaded ~ I think our little book community has a rather large share of brainy women, spinster or no. :-) I hope you have a chance to get to the book soon!


JoAnn said...

Great review! I loved The Moonstone and this one is waiting on my shelves.

Lezlie said...

JoAnn ~ Thank you! This is the second time I've heard good things about The Moonstone. I may have to get to it sooner than later. :-)


Veronica said...

I enjoyed this book so much. I'm glad you did, too. And I so agree about the ugly spinster. I thought she should have been the one he loved.

Lezlie said...

Veronica ~ For awhile there I wasn't sure he wasn't going to change his mind! Or maybe that was a lot of wishful thinking on my behalf. :-)


Dar said...

I've heard so much about this book. I was going to pick it as a selection for the Classics Challenge but it is a pretty big book and I was looking for something lighter I guess. This is on the list to read eventually though.

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ It is a bit hefty, but it's good I hope you can get to it sometime!


Serena said...

surprisingly I've never read wilkie collins...maybe its time to start...though probably after I finish Drood.

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ That's a hefty one, too. I hope it's as good as it looks!


Danielle said...

This is one of my favorite books. So glad you liked it too! It would be fun to listen to--especially with the right narrator.

Lezlie said...

Danielle ~ It was a great book for audio. I wish our library had The Moonstone on audio, too!