Bizarrely, even though this book is 740 pages long, I felt it stopped too soon...
I liked this one. It isn't a clever mystery like The Moonstone, or The Woman in White, but it's a well-written story, carefully told, with interesting characters. The plot involves two sisters, who, after the tragic deaths of their parents discover that they were born out of wedlock, and as a consequence lose their home and their inheritance. Norah, the elder, follows the traditional course for a distressed gentlewoman and becomes a governess. Magdalen, the younger, resolves to recover her inheritance by whatever means possible.
The slow pace of the story might not be to everyone's taste, but I felt it let me get to know the characters more readily and get a better feel for their world and experiences.
It comes to life especially well when Captain Wragge, a genial rogue is on stage - I get the feeling he was Collins' favourite as well, from his final appearance towards the end of the book :-)
The only real criticism I have is that the book stops rather than ending. Although the main plot is resolved, there is still a small subsidiary matter that I'd expected to be dealt with, which is instead left as a cliffhanger, almost as if there should have been an additional chapter, the text finishes so abruptly.