Friday, October 28, 2011
RIP Read 6: The Dead Secret
The RIP read that I finished right before the read-a-thon was The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins. If you are a fan of Collins or even of Dickens, you will probably like this one. It's one of his earlier novels, published serially three years before The Woman in White. It can be very sentimental in parts and, as you will find in many other Collins novels, it includes an examination of social issues -- in this case, the opinions of the era on birth and position. It also has a couple of really stellar characters worthy of Dickens -- the vicar Doctor Chennery and Uncle Joseph really stand out but most of the characters are interesting for one reason or another.
The "secret" will probably seem obvious to a modern reader fairly early on even though it isn't actually revealed until right near the end. And, as has happened many times before, Oxford manages to give it away right on the back of the book. So if you have this version, try and avoid looking at the back before you start or while you're reading. For me, this means always setting the book down face-up. Luckily, this version has a really beautiful cover!
What makes this an RIP read? A gloomy, derelict "castle" (complete with ghost) and a woman driven mad by a secret that she is forced to keep for years.
Loving this view of a different era,