cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
cat63
cat63
50bookchallenge

Book 51 for 2010

No Name by Wilkie Collins. 740 pages.

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.
Tags: classic, literature
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