I was a mere teen when I first picked up The Woman in White. I remember really enjoying it...I remember a mysterious woman dressed in white beside a grave...and that is all I remember. I recently re-read The Woman in White to see why I had such fond memories of the book. I have done some other re-reads such as Wuthering Heights, which I loved as a teen, but didn't really like as an adult. My fear was that The Woman in White would have the same effect on me. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did I like it the first time, I fell in love with it the second time.
The novel, written in 1860 by Wilkie Collins, has an intricate plot that keeps the reader guessing as to what is coming next. There is mystery, romance, and adventure pulsing through the whole book. Collins gives you just enough information to make the plot clear, but not enough to reveal so much that you lose interest. I can honestly say that there really wasn't a part of the book that got dull in any form. Each chapter moves you through the storyline to reveal how the characters are connected to each other. Even though it was written in the 1800's I found it to be easier to read than say, a Dickens novel. The language is far more accessible.
Most of the characters are well-developed. Count Fosco is unforgettable in his corpulence and his ability to smooze the unsuspecting victim. Hartright is the true hero of the novel showing all the virtues you would expect in that role. Marian is the smart, practical sister that guides Laura with wisdom. And finally Percival is the villain you love to hate!
I can't recommend this book enough! While it is considered a classic, it is by no means a well-known title. Such a shame...because so many people miss out on a fantastic novel! I am eager to read another Wilkie Collins novel entitled The Moonstone. I have heard that it is an excellent detective novel.