The Woman in White begins with Walter Hartright and his unexpected chance meeting with a young woman, dressed in white. She seems to have fled an asylum and asks Walter to show her the way to town. From this moment on, Walters life will change. He will meet young Lady Fairlie and Ms. Halcombe and together, they must solve mysteries and bring crimes to justice as much as the Victorian age lets them. But Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco are on their heels to prevent them from seeing what is behind the mask of an eloquent, well-mannered Victorian gentleman and how dark his secrets can be..
The story takes place in the Victorian 1850s and as Walter Hartright tells us in the beginning: “The story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness”.
The story is written by more than one person and even though I am usually not such a big fan of this stylistic device, I liked it here a lot. Collins managed to give all characters their own style and way of talking and presenting things to the reader wich is very entertaining.
There is a lot of suspense, unexplained identities, lots of dark secrets and hypocrites and rich people. This book has everything: the evil villain, the not so evil villian, a damsel in distress, a lovesick hero and a strong heroine who will fight for the rights of herself and others. Add a sensitive girl who has fled an asylum and mysterious foreigner and you have a perfect novel.
The Woman in White is actually considered to be the first sensation novel of the psychological mystery genre and has never been out of print for over 150 years. That’s a successful book I’d say 😉
Though, I also have to say that The Woman in White is neither a thriller nor a detective mystery per se. I kind of feel compelled to mention that authors and writing styles as well as themes change over time so before buying the book I would suggest that you read a few pages online or on amazon and see whether you like the writing style in general.
If you want to read a classic from the Victorian Age, go ahead and give this book a go! Just make sure to get into the reading fun with our modern demands and prejudices out of your head and I’m sure you will enjoy this book a lot! If you have never read such a book before and want to give it a try, keep in mind that there are other classics from this time that are not as long. Might want to check them out 😉
Liked the review? Or want to know more about the Victorian Age and books of the time? What is your favourite classic? Leave a comment and share your thoughts! ❤