The Woman in White 5: The Third Epoch (The Story Continued by Mrs. Catherick) - End

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The Woman in White 5: The Third Epoch (The Story Continued by Mrs. Catherick) - End

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1unlucky
Jun 2, 2009, 5:45 pm

A place to discuss the last bit of The Woman in White.

2teelgee
Editado: Jun 19, 2009, 10:54 am

Finished last night. Loved it.

This declaration from Fosco cracked me up; as he's narrating and obviously so impressed with his own cleverness, he says, "What a situation! I suggest it to the rising romance writers of England. I offer it, as totally new, to the worn-out dramatists of France." He's a great character too. Such a narcissist, such an actor. I loved when he was writing out the narrative and tossing the papers and quills behind him as he went.

I was a little concerned when it drifted off into the spy/espionage bits -- wasn't sure how that was going to work into the plot. But it made for such a good solution to Walter's dilemma and was played out well.

Like someone wrote in a review of this book -- why hadn't I ever heard of Collins before??

Now I'm itching to read some Dickens. It's been many years.

3teelgee
Jun 19, 2009, 2:41 pm

4Donna828
Jun 19, 2009, 9:41 pm

I just finished WIW and reviewed it here. I thought it was going to be my second 5-star book of the year, but I just got bogged down towards the end. The painstaking details of unraveling the conspiracy were...well...painful to me. That, combined with the belittling characterization of women in the book, made it a 4-star book imo. I did like Collins' writing and would even rate him close to my boy Dickens.

5Donna828
Jun 19, 2009, 9:48 pm

>3 teelgee:: Hey, Terri, I enjoyed your review. I have Fingersmith by Sarah Waters on my TBR pile and will read it as soon as I make my way through some library books and an ER book. I'm glad you got back in your own group!

6scarper
Jun 20, 2009, 4:33 am

It was a five star book for me, really enjoyed it and raced through it despite the distraction of exams. Like Teelgee, i thought Fosco and Uncle Fairlie were great characters (simply couldn't stop laughing at Fosco's generosity to the writers of England and France...brilliant).

I do agree that Laura was quite one-dimensional and probably suffered in the narrative by not having authored any sections. I actually thought that Walter was going to propose to Marian rather than Laura...ah well, at least the great Fosco appreciated her fully!

7hemlokgang
Jun 28, 2009, 11:35 am

Marvelous read! I am really glad we chose this book for the group read.

8unlucky
Jul 1, 2009, 10:43 pm

4> I also got bogged down around the end and I also guessed a lot of things before they actually happened. I liked some of the narrators more than the others and some of the narrators I didn't like at all.

I disagree that this book belittles women. A lot of the women Marian, Anne, Mrs. Michelson and even Laura I thought were very strong. Anne may have been afraid but after what she won't through I don't think that is meant to belittle her as much as make her mysterious at first and then allow us to believe her. Mrs. Michelson (and Fanny) may have made errors in judgement of other characters but they were very loyal and Mrs. Michelson stood up to Gylde, which takes courage. I don't think that I need to defend Marian but I think that people under appreciate Laura, she is quite young, torn away from her love and married to an abusive husband. I didn't think she was underdeveloped or belittled at all.

I think a large part of this book is that is empowers women and reflects the injustice in that society that women had to face. Due to the power that men have over women Laura's future was sacrificed by Mr. Fairlie when Marian obviously could have made better arrangements and both Anne and Laura were confined. I think a strong theme in this book is the legal power that Men had over women while women (like Marian) were in fact as able as men.

So yeah, my overall opinion: slow once you get to the third epoch, but a good message and overall empowering to women.

9digifish_books
Editado: Jul 5, 2009, 5:41 am

Apparently, when the book was first published, the character Marian Holcolmbe proved immensely popular with male readers, some of whom even wrote to Wilkie Collins asking him the name (and contact details) of the woman who Marian was based on :D

10PensiveCat
Jul 6, 2009, 11:54 am

Marian is really likeable - I could see her being popular with readers of either gender.

This turned out to be a much better book than I'd expected, and I can't believe I've finished already! I was a little confused with the spy parts myself, but it's not the most left-field plot twist I've ever seen.

11billiejean
Jul 24, 2009, 10:47 am

I finally finished, and I loved this book. The suspense was wonderful. Collins summed it all up at the end and tied all the loose ends. I loved Marian, and I also thought that Walter would end up with her -- but then there would be no heir of Limmeridge. Overall, I found it a great read!
--BJ

12guppyfp
Jul 26, 2009, 5:00 pm

I enjoyed it a lot for the first two thirds - I kept getting sucked into reading it when I should have been doing something else. The end, with its tying up of every loose end, great or small, started to get a bit tedious for me.

13theaelizabet
Editado: Jul 27, 2009, 3:06 pm

I more or less agree with most posts here, book bogged down in the the last epoch, Laura not a well fleshed-out character, etc. Overall, however, I though this was an excellent adventure and some of the book's structure seemed quite modern. Very enjoyable, indeed.

For a bit of a laugh read the Wikipedia synopsis on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical version of it. As I remember, it was advertised as being "freely adapted" or some such. What were they thinking?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woman_in_White_(musical)

14Cecilturtle
Ago 2, 2009, 11:57 am

I join in agreement with the comments above, especially unlucky (#8) about the female characters - if anything it showed the limits society imposed on women in those days: Marian was just itching to help but was tied down.
In terms of the end, the "Brotherhood" (mafia??) is too much - it reminded of The Moonstone's unlikely ending. It was a way to get the Count killed, I suppose, to allow for an ever-happy ending. Unnecessary in my opinion, especially since it gave Marian a true admirer!
Thoroughly enjoyed the book in the end, and glad I stuck through despite some lengthy passages.

15rebeccareid
Ago 12, 2009, 11:55 pm

I've been listening to the Librivox recording of this book, and while I was often impatient to get to the end because I wanted to know what happened (I only got through about 8 hours a week and it was 25 hours total) I really enjoyed the recording of it. The readers for Mr. Fairlie and Count Fosco were absolutely suberbly done, and I found myself wondering if the characters were really written so perfectly as they were read. I gather from these comments that they were.

I like the comments that have been left here, especially those about the women. I too loved Marion Halcombe. And I'm so glad that it ended so well, even though the mafia thing was a bit over the top as has been mentioned.

I wasn't bogged down in the third epoch. I was so interested in knowing how it would all come together that I found myself trying to find extra time to listen to my audiobook (i.e., doing extra chores). I had no idea which direction it would go and what the secret would be.

>13 theaelizabet: oh my, that musical sounds dreadful!