Title: The Moonstone
Author: Wilkie Collins
Summary: In making his bequest, Colonel Herncastle is wrecking terrible vengeance on his family, for possession of the diamond bring certain damnation.
The Moonstone is cursed. And the Verinder family, caught in its sinister power, are swept into a maelstrom of intrigue and violence, suicide and murder . . .
My Rating: 8.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: This is one of those books that grabs you by the hair and yanks you into the pages, as you dive into the story and into solving the mystery of who stole the Moonstone. The story is told through multiple narratives; all who have some clue or hint at who is behind the Moonstone. Although some narratives don’t seem to give much away when you first read them, in the end all have some hidden clue within them; that points the finger at the thief. The book was very hard to put down, and it was only when I was too tired to keep my eyes open that I actually put it down. It is one of those books you can stay up all night for and read. (I had no coffee at the time)
I’ve never read Wilkie Collins, and I’m ashamed to say until recently I haven’t even heard of him. I picked this book because it would go great with the Victorian challenge, it was on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list, and it was a mystery, which is a genre of book I don’t read much anymore, but want to get back into. So it was a perfect choice. And I’m very glad I read it.
After only reading a few chapters, I fell in love with Collins’ style of writing and way he tells a story. I loved having the different narratives and thought he did a good job at creating a separate “voice” for each one. This allowed the reader to see the characters from many different points of view of eachother, along with their point of view of themselves. In other books where there are different narrators telling the same story, I find everyone looks at the other characters with the same point of view. Collins’ seemed to be better at ensuring each of the different narrator’s views differed, if it was only slightly, they differed on circumstances, events, other characters etc. You seemed to find certain personality traits show more in one person’s narrative than in another person’s narrative. Which is a fantastic way to tell a story it makes the story less one sided and you get to see the characters true colours. On top of that, Collins has that beautiful and elegant Victorian literature style of writing, you rarely see today, but a style I love.
I also really enjoyed trying to piece together who stole the diamond. And I have to say, I was surprised in the end when it was revealed. Until that point I thought it was a completely different person. Or at least I thought they had to have some part in the theft of the diamond. But I was surprised when it was revealed. Collins did a fantastic job at creating the build up and finally revealing the truth of the mystery.
One criticism I have with the book is with the narratives and that is that I felt some dragged on a bit (Miss Clack the Christian Spinster stands out the most). Betteredge’s narrative was well done, but after he mentioned Robinson Crusoe (the novel) for what seems to be the eighteenth time, I found it be repetitive and a little distracting, (I also find my self wanting to pick up a copy Robinson Crusoe hmm… hidden messaging?). I also found Miss Clack’s character to be extremely annoying and was glad she was only in the book for a short time. Out of the entire book the section where she is in, was the part that took me the longest to get through. Her and her personality just became very un-likable, in how she portrayed her self, what she did and how she interacted with the other characters. She wasn’t very liked by the other characters either, or at least that’s the feeling I got from them. So I guess I wasn’t alone!
Overall a very engaging and interesting story that has me moving more of Wilkie Collins’ works to the top of my TBR list.
Would I recommend it to read: YES! Run to your library, your bookstore, your online bookswaps and grab your self a copy! This was a fantastic book that has so many layers it will go great with a lot of different reader's tastes. I can see some not liking the length. Of the story, it isn't that long, but it move a little slow, compared to what some readers like, but give it a chance, and work to solve the mystery of who stole the diamond. I
What to read next: More books by Wilkie Collins. Fantastic Author. I haven't read it, but I have heard great things about "The Women in White".
Challenges: (Another) 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
The Classics Challenge, New Author Challenge, RYOB Challenge, Spring Reading Thing, Victorian Challenge