I mean, seriously, what does Laura have going for her besides an angelic countenance? She's obviously not particularly bright, can't draw to save her life, has a pretty warped sense of priorities, suffers from a seriously weak immune system for no apparent reason, and signs away a hefty fortune. But Marian. The woman is amazing! She is smart, brave, intrepid, well-formed, loyal, kind, and scrappy. How cruel, Wilkie Collins, to make her some sort of monstrosity to look at to compensate for her overwhelming awesomeness. What, a woman can't be smart, pretty, and brave?
So many things happened in this book! And it was populated by so many well-drawn characters, all of whom had such distinct, individual voices (except for Laura, who had very little personality at all, but she was pretty and that's all that matters). Want to know more? Check out my review on the Project Gutenberg Project blog.
Oooo yes! I thought exactly the same and I love the Woman in white - have you seen the old Sydney Greenstreet film? - it's a brilliantly atmospheric dramatisation.ReplyDelete
No, I haven't! I should watch it for sure. It seems made for film :-)Delete
I haven't read it, but I think based on Sarah Rees Brennan's review/reenactment here that you are definitely not alone in your thoughts on the matter!ReplyDelete
I will go click on that link as soon as I get home!Delete
Ha ha ha! This review was amazing. Love the unreserved snark you have for Laura!ReplyDelete
I thought that too as I read. LOL I really enjoyed this book.ReplyDelete
Yes, I liked it much more than I expected I would - very pleasant surprise!Delete
I've had this on my shelf for ages and have consistently read rave reviews but now I am very curious to hear what you think so am heading over to the other website to read your review!ReplyDelete
Glad I caught your attention :-)Delete
Oh man, Laura... It's not her fault that Wilkie made her so crappy though, and also, Walter doesn't DESERVE Marian cause he's totally lame! I read this in a readathon and we had a LOT of fun mocking Walter and Laura and worshipping Marian!ReplyDelete
You make a very good point. Walter is not in the least worthy of Marian. He thinks he's all heroic, but how convenient that he just happened to be on the other side of the world when his lady love(s) needed him most.Delete
Dude, this is why we were flailing over Marian during the readalong. SO MUCH MARIAN LOVE.ReplyDelete
But yeah, I dunno, Laura had a couple moments. Like when she slammed something down. I forget when. But we all commented on it like, "Whoa, look at Laura having something of a personality."
Man, what a great book.
That must have been when Laura had a completely unnecessary fever of some sort - she'd never do that otherwise!Delete
I think my favorite part was when Walter thought he was being so kind to buy Laura's worthless drawings from her so that she could "contribute" to their keep. Seriously, how condescending can you get, Walter? And how can you not see through that ploy, Laura?
Loved your review...and loving the comments. I spent the entire book quite that, surely, Walter would end up with Marian for how could anyone prefer the insipid Laura! I do agree he didn't deserve her though.ReplyDelete
Cat, I think you forgot that Laura is *beautiful* and that is all that matters. Also, she stands to inherit money and land, which is quite tempting to a drawing master.Delete
It's always fascinating to see the writer half of these Victorian authors try to do something interesting and true, while their earthly male half can't quite bear to bestow total authorial love on a vivid female like Marian.ReplyDelete
That's a good point, Shelley! Maybe Collins *wanted* Marian to be the heroine but just couldn't bring himself to do it due to the chauvinism of the era ;-)Delete
On an unrelated note, I'm reading a book about the Dust Bowl right now!
LOL! I totally wondered what Hartwright saw in Laura when Marian was the bees knees! I always hated the implication that since she was smart, she was somehow inferior to the idiot Laura. He totally should have gone for her. I'm pretty sure the Count was looking at her, if you know what I mean. Heh.ReplyDelete
I also think Marian was probably better off! :)Delete
I agree - I think the Count was the only person in the book who really understood that Marian was amazing and worthy of praise and love and devotion. I actually think that pairing would be very interesting... I bet fan fic has taken it there!Delete
Marian is the star of this novel, hands down! I read this book a few years ago and adored it, must revisit at some point!ReplyDelete
Yes, this is one that would do well on a reread, I think.Delete
LMAO at the first bit of this review. I haven't finished the book, but I know it's true already. :DReplyDelete
Yes, Marian is glorious :-) Just you wait!Delete
As I've mentioned in PG, you're not alone. Laura is your typical boring Mary-Sue that Victorians loved to love.ReplyDelete
Yes, at least it shows that our tastes have changed over the past 150 years or so!Delete
Great review. Thanks. I just finished listening to this review on Librivox, too. Yes, I am grateful for them, too.ReplyDelete
Laura was the ideal woman of her time, present only to die--which I totally expected. I gave Collins points for even creating Marion, who was adored by the Count, who couldn't have been a hero but was as good a counterpoint to Walter as Marion was to Laura.
You're right, it does say a lot that Marian was even written. Good for Collins!Delete
I like to think that even if Walter Hartright got his head screwed up on straight and fell in love with Marian and declared his love for her, Marian would be like, Um, no. You are not that great. I'm saving myself for someone who wouldn't fall in love with Laura in the first place.ReplyDelete