Thursday, 30 January 2014

''The Moonstone''- Book review

Author: Wilkie Collins
Published: 1868

Genres: Novel, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 out of 5


''The Moonstone'' is my first Wilkie Collins novel, and I really adored it. I loved the storytelling, wit, narration, character development, and the way in which different characters narrate the story in their own style. I really liked this novel.

''The Moonstone'' tells the story of a valuable Indian diamond. Colonel James Herncastle, a corrupt soldier, had acquired this diamond in India as a result of war. He brings the diamond, known as the Moonstone, to England, and leaves it to his niece, Rachel Verinder.

Rachel Verinder lives with her mother, Lady Verinder. After the death of Colonel Herncastle, Franklin Blake (a cousin of Rachel Verinder), is given the task of taking the diamond to Rachel, and present it to her on her 18th birthday. On her birthday party, Rachel wears the diamond, and before going to bed, she keeps it in her cabinet.

However, that very night, the diamond is stolen...

Things get mysterious... who could have stolen the diamond? Apparently, the house was perfectly locked and secure, and no outsider could get into the house...

The renowned detective Sergeant Cuff is called. Everything centering the case seems puzzling, mysterious...

The book is divided into two parts: the first part is narrated by Gabriel Betteredge, the trusted elderly steward of the Verinders, and the second part is narrated by different characters.

I really liked the narration style. The style of each of the characters is reflected through their narrations. For example, Gabriel Betteredge's narrative, which, I think, is the longest narrative in the book (he narrates the whole first part), is a little slow-paced and sometimes witty. Gabriel Betteredge is the trusted old steward of the family, and Lady Verinder likes him a lot. He has quirks, which are reflected in his narrative. The first narrative of the second part is by Miss Clack, a relative of the Verinders. Miss Clack's narrative was amusing and also irritating! The narratives by Franklin Blake and Mr Bruff (and others) are more serious-sounding.

This is a long book, and a lot of things happen in the course of the novel, it takes several unexpected turns, making the mystery really enjoyable. Not only this, there are several characters that remain memorable, for whom we feel sympathy. Though the main subject of the book is the mystery, the characters also form a major part of the book, and over the course of the story, a lot of things happen to the characters, changing the lives of several of them. As mentioned a lot of times in the book, after the night of the birthday party, nothing remained same in the carefree, happy lives of the central characters; rather, they were being haunted by mysteries and suspicions.

I really liked this novel; I liked the narrative style, character development, and the development of the mystery. It's an amazing book, and I'm looking forward to read more Wilkie Collins novels.

4 out of 5


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