The first time I experienced Wilkie Collins’s masterpiece two years ago (gushing positive thoughts here), it was via an amateur audiobook recording at Librivox and it took me more than a month. I loved the unknown suspense as I tried to anticipate what was coming, I loved the plot, I loved the well developed characters, and the recording was very well done, especially considering it was amateurs.
On this reread, I started it at a similar leisurely pace but then I could not put it down and I read the last three hundred pages in one day (I love leisurely weekends!). I felt compelled to keep turning pages because let’s face it, The Woman in White (published 1859) has wonderful pacing, a great plot, and characters that one can’t help but love (and love to hate). Because I already had read this book before, I knew what was coming. I did not wonder about the mysteries as I read this time. Rereading it was delightful because I could see even better how Wilkie Collins managed to accomplish his purposes. Although this read didn’t have the element of the unknown, it did have the familiarity of the characters
Because I am a huge fan of rereading, I do want to note here that on this particular reread I came to better appreciate the non-spoiler crowd out there. Because I knew what was coming, the book didn’t have the emotional surprise that it had on my first read. I couldn’t put it down because I did know the twists and surprises that were coming and I wanted to read until That Part time and again, but at the same time, I already knew it. It was no longer a surprise. If there is a book I wish I could read again for the first time (this week’s Top Ten Tuesday question), The Woman in White would have to be it.
The fall season is perfect for reading The Woman in White because the book has graveyard scenes, scenes on misty London roads, and mysterious secrets to discover.
If you haven’t read it yet, I am very jealous. Enjoy!