Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Name - Wilkie Collins

Two wealthy and privileged sisters, Norah and Magdalen are left destitute after strange and unusual circumstances. While Norah complacently accepts her new lot in life and exchanges a lifestyle of luxury for one of a semi-abused governess...Magdalen refuses to acquiesce to the new life fate has handed her and begins a slow and painful journey to reclaim her rightful inheritance.

All I can say about this book is - wow. Once again, Wilkie Collins has kept me in white knuckle suspense for over 700 pages. I had no idea how the book was going to end. Collins has a way of pulling the reader deep into a story, submerging you in his characters and creating a narrative that is so visceral you find yourself dreaming their dreams and hoping their hopes and wishing for it to never end.

I found myself completely relating to Magdalen. Like her, I am a fixer, never satisfied to sit idly by and hope for the best , we fixers instead pour our souls into setting things right. Yet, while Magdalen's life slowly crumbles around her as she is forced to embark on one fateful enterprise after another, her sister Norah, waits patiently for life or fate or God to provide a solution to their tribulation.

I'm so glad I gave Wilkie Collins another try. After reading the Moonstone, I wanted to rip my eyeballs out and have along chat with Harold Bloom. Now, I appreciate Collins for what he is, a master story teller. He almost reminds me of a cross between Dickens and Hardy with his ability to paint a narrative so close you can almost taste it. I think Collins may have bumped himself closer to the top of the list alongside Flannery, McCullers and Hardy.

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Henry V - William Shakespeare

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