A novel that revolves around the issue of illegitimacy.
her parents. How had she come by her hair? how had she come by her eyes? Even her father and mother had asked themselves those questions, as she grew up to girlhood, and had been sorely perplexed to answer them. Her hair was of that purely light-brown hue, unmixed with flaxen, or yellow, or red--which is oftener seen on the plumage of a bird than on the head of a human being. It was soft and plentiful, and waved downward from her low forehead in regular folds--but, to some tastes, it was dull and dead, in its absolute want of glossiness, in its monotonous purity of plain light color. Her eyebrows and eyelashes were just a shade darker than her hair, and seemed made expressly for those violet-blue eyes, which assert their most irresistible charm when associated with a fair complexion. But it was here exactly that the promise of her face failed of performance in the most startling manner. The eyes, which should have been dark, were incomprehensibly and discordantly light; they were of that nearly colorless gra
I can only agree with the other reviewers: this is a real highlight. Every page full of tension and surprise, and in excellent writing. The Woman In White can't be compared because that one took all its motivation from the stupidity of one person, while in this work it's much more naturally distributed.
In my opinion, it's the best book by Collins and one of the best books I've read in my life. The plot is ingenious, the characters are well-drawn and unique. The book has it all: a mystery, suspense, humor, tragedy, melodrama, deaths, disguises, a duel of wits, many thrilling moments, and at the center of it all lies a story of a woman who refuses to give in to circumstances and decides to recover what is rightfully hers.This is a delightful story of determination and despair, greed and magnanimity, revenge and forgiveness.
I enjoyed this even more than Woman in White, and I think so far it is my favourite Collins. The characters are great, including a great anti-heroine and a loveable scoundrel. Collins does well with plot and suspense and I couldn't put this down. Law students would love this as it highlights a great many wills problems, some not well known to those outside the law. A great read.
If you have read and enjoyed The Woman in White and The Moonstone, be sure to give this one a try. It contains a truly memorable "heroine" as well as a number of fascinating other characters. Collins does a good job of maintaining suspense and tension in this complex tale of tragedy and revenge. He also knows when to insert a strong dose of comic relief. Recommended.