Classics Club Spin: The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins

ImageThis is a forced book review. I figured since I only read one book in the entire month of September (wtf?) I should review it. I was ready to do a thoughtful analysis but the combination of a flooded daycare resulting in no child care, no less than a dozen emails protesting book fines, two people angry about course reserves, and a boatload of interlibrary loan requests mean that I am tired and bitchy.

Real bitchy.

I just want a pint of dairy-free ice cream and Walking Dead reruns.

On to the book review:

You can skip this one.

I adore Wilkie Collins and he is one of my most favorite authors, but this book was such a drag.

The plot centers around a pouty, cutesy pie, rosy cheeked wife and mother — Rosamund — and her blind and emo-tastic husband Lenny. Rosamund runs into a neat lady, Sarah. And by neat I mean neat. Neat hands! Neat brow! Neat manner! Neat dress! But Sarah is also annoyingly troubled: murmuring, isolated and, holy fuck, pleading eyes all. the. time. Sarah knows Rosamund from the past (bum bum buuuummmm). Sarah knows of a Dead Secret hidden in a dilapidated room and she must keep Rosamund from the secret. The secret you can guess from 50 pages in. 3/4 of the book is Sarah stupidly acting like a character from a Stephen King novel, but without the fun psycho elements. She is just weird and clingy and in her stupidity neatly sends Rosamund straight to The Dead Secret.

Then it seems like everyone will end up poor and sad, but they aren’t because magically there are no real consequences to The Dead Secret. Except that Sarah dies… which takes for fucking ever.

This makes it sound like I hated the book. I hated Rosamund and Sarah and the neat ending (omg enough with the neatness), but really I was just disappointed. I went into the book thinking it would be a cross between The Moonstone and Uncle Silas and I was sorely disappointed.


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