This is the story of what a Woman’s patience can endure, and what a Man’s resolution can achieve.
Thus begins this monster of a book, which I started after hearing about it in several reviews of Uncle Silas, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed quite some time ago. The words Gothic psychological thriller can also be used to describe this book, but for some reason I didn’t enjoy this one as much.
The writing was good, but I felt the story progressed at a pace that was far too slow for me to completely hold my interest and I found myself slogging through the last 30% as events finally started to unfold, but since they had taken so long coming I wasn’t really that interested anymore. The fact that this is an 800 pager worked in its favor in that I had already read through so many pages I was unable to abandon that hard work.
It also didn’t help that I didn’t enjoy any of the characters other than Marian Halcombe, who thankfully played a large part in this book. Part of the issue was that this book was first published in the 1800s, and is describing a time that is completely different from today where the women were delicate and weak willed, and the men loved them that way.
Marian is strong, and capable and contributes a great deal to the story. But her manly personality unfortunately matches her manly looks so she is destined of course to be a spinster, while her beautiful sister catches the eye of the protagonist from first sight, who he promptly falls in love with. The book skips over much of the parts with them together so I have no basis in believing that he loves her for anything other than her looks. In fact her sister Laura is barely in the book at all, other than when the other characters are lying to her to avoid upsetting her delicate nature.
People that enjoy the slow unfolding of events and beautiful language of another time may enjoy this one, but unfortunately I have to mark this one as “not for me”.