First of all, this book is absolutely free on Amazon, the Kindle edition that is.
How does someone review a good book without giving a way the plot? That has always been the trick.
This is one of those classics you will not regret picking up. It’s told from various points of view by the characters involved in the story. Wilkie Collins is really descriptive and you will get to enjoy his style of writing, no matter which character is narrating the story at that particular time.
Central to the tale, is of course, the woman in white. Who is she? What role does she play? The first character to narrate the story is Walter Hartright, a young man of 28 years, whose sense of humour will make you smile at the beginning. He encounters a woman in white in the streets of London, she seems to be in a hurry, is fearful and nervous, but he helps her nevertheless. His good friend, Professor Pesca, has helped get him a good job in the countryside teaching two maidens to draw, he’s an artist himself. Thus he departs from London on the same night he meets the woman in white.
He goes on to the village where he’s to be stationed and meets the two ladies who are sisters: Miss Halcombe and Miss Fairlie, and from there, as the story unfolds, the mystery of the woman in white deepens as she also resurfaces in the same village. Tragic events follow, and Walter Hartright leaves England for the United States, thus other characters take over the story. Most notable is Miss Halcombe (or Marian if you insist on being informal), who writes in her diary the events as they unfold.
Miss Fairlie is engaged to be married to Sir Percival, who has a FAT friend called Count Fosco. However, something is amiss but no one can get to the bottom of it, and in the end she gets married to Sir Percival. However, she’s still in love with Walter Hartright, and he’s also in love with her, and that is why he left because he couldn’t bear that she was betrothed to another.
From there, things take a turn for the worse, with each of the characters involved at the particular time narrating their side of the story. This works well for character building. The question now is, what tragic events have happened? Who was the woman in white and why does she look exactly like Miss Fairlie? Will Walter Hartright come back? Will he end up Miss Fairlie? How is Count Fosco such a powerful character, yet he’s a fat man of 60 who treads very silently, loves animals, has the sweetest tooth, charming words and drinks sugar water (yuck!). It’s funny how much you hate to admire the count. He’s ruthless, but admirable. Find out why he admires Miss Halcombe so!
Anyway, I hope I have given you enough reason (I could give several more but time limits) to download the free ebook, or to buy the classic for a few hundred shillings.