Review: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Genre: Victorian Literature, England, Detective Novel, Classics Club, Victorian Reading Challenge 2014.
Rating: 3 Stars for good.
Source: Free copy won from Allie at the The Literary Odyssey in August 2012. She has a new blog: Defining My Moment.
A bio on Wilkie Collins.
From the Victorian Web, on Wilkie Collins.
A famous Yellow Diamond from India is missing. For centuries it had been "set in the forehead" of a Indian moon god, the idol located in a rural area of northwest India. It was stolen, later ended up being found by an English soldier who left it in his will to a woman named Rachel. It is only in her possession a short time and then stolen. Legend and superstition, define the Diamond as being cursed by its possessor. After the Diamond is stolen the story sweeps through with detective work, and later several narrations are included of the evolving of the story.
I really wanted to love this story. I read the entire book not skipping anything, yet at times I was lost. Later in the novel when several different narrations are given, I was ready for the conclusion.
I picked up on the role of detective work which has led to the reality of detective work in novels. The study of habits of people, change in routine, prejudices, personality traits, preconceived ideas, are all explored.
There is a love story included between Rachel and her beau. This gives the book a human interest and melodramatic element, and not a sterile detective story.
During the 19th century, opium abuse was rampant, Wilkie Collins adds this dimension.
There is an exotic mysterious atmosphere in the story; however, the story did not work for me, I was never able to become apart of it.