|By Adam Mazur|
Now, to The Woman in White. Gilmore's narrative comes first but isn't that interesting. The only things you learn are a) Laura is posed to get just a boatload of money b) Sir Percival Glyde has written an agreement that gives him all the money on Laura's death instead of Laura's family, which is typical and c) Mr. Fairlie is even more awful/amazingly narcissistic than I previously believed and let's Percy get away with his plan because eh, whatever; he'll prob die first anyway. Gilmore's narrative is short which is good because that means we get to Miriam the Velociraptor's section quicker!
So much happens! Finally there's some action. Well pseudo action. And there's a new Italian guy who, granted, is no Professor Pesca, but he is still entertaining in a very ominous sort of way. Marian, Laura (now Lady Glyde, which sounds like a classy porn name), Sir Percival Glyde, and Count & Countess Fosco are all hanging out at Sir Percival's home and Percy is living up to Anne's warning letter of him. He's being a real asshole to Laura and Marian, although Fosco seems able to keep him under control.
Fosco is an interesting character. On the surface he seems to be looking out for Marian and Laura. He comes to their rescue a couple times when Percy goes all nuts, he trains animals like mice and birds, he loves sweets. These don't usually make for an intimidating presence. But Marian doesn't trust him. And his wife, who used to be loud and obnoxious is very quiet and subservient now. How'd he do that? He seems to be spying on Marian as she tries to discover what's going on with Sir Percival and the Woman in White, but at the same time he seems to have a plausible explanation for everything he does. Very creepy.
I am finally starting to get on Laura's side with this section and it was all based on the scene where Sir Percival tries to get her to sign something without letting her read what it is she's signing. And Laura stands up to him! Who saw that coming?? Marian has to convince her a couple times she's right to not sign something without knowing what it is but still, Laura stood up for herself. She's still boring but at least she's not weak anymore. She even throws the pen down when insulted. That is more action than I thought possible from her. Go Laura.
But really, it's the end of this section that made me go I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! Sir Percival definitely has a secret. He was trying to get to Laura's money (hence the document he wouldn't let her read) AND there's also a secret that he thinks Laura and Walter know about. The Woman in White knows his secret. I want to know! I was on the edge of my seat, literally gasping (and getting weird looks) while Miriam the Velociraptor sneaked onto the roof to eavesdrop on Sir Percival and Count Fosco's conversation. The tension! Will she get caught? Who knew she really was such a badass? Do you see why I can't help but picture her as a velociraptor. Although it just made me think "If she was a velociraptor, she would have bit his head off by now. It would have been shorter story sure BUT still awesome." And that post script at the end of her diary??? I wasn't sure if I was supposed to read that since I think it's past where we read (although Alice fixed that yesterday) but I couldn't help it and all I can say is dun Dun DUUUN!!!
I know I'm gushing but she's the best and here are some quotes to back that up
"I banged the door after me, and I hope I shattered Mr. Fairlie's nervous system for the rest of the day."
"Being, however, nothing but a woman, condemned to patience, propriety, and petticoats for life, I must respect the house-keeper's opinions, and try to compose myself in some feeble and feminine way."
"I remember the time, Countess, when you advocated the Rights of Women and freedom of female opinion was one of them."
One last quote that made me laugh when I read it:
"Even baldness, when it is only baldness over the forehead (as in his case), is rather becoming than not in a man, for it heightens the head and adds to the intelligence of the face"
Oh Collins, first you talk about how Marian's little forehead makes her so ugly and then you go into detail about how a big forehead makes a guy look smart. Your insecurities are showing sir.
Title quote from location 3230/page 146
Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White. Amazon Books, 2006. Originally published 1860