17 March 2010

Wilkie Collins - "I Say No"

My excursion into ebooks has primarily revolved around compilations of classic mysteries (most of which are out of copyright, but it was worth the $20 or so for the convenience of 40,000 pages all in one big wad). I've a great love for Golden Age mysteries, and the novels I'm currently reading are part of the genre's foundation.

Father Brown proved a little too..."Father knows best"? Or, worse, Father knows best, but isn't going to say until pushed. Not bad stories, but they didn't leave me thrilled.

I've moved on to a patch of Wilkie Collin novels, which are not really mysteries in the modern sense, but more 'moral dramas' with an overtone of mystery.

"I Say No" has a semblance of mystery - the death of the father of the main character, Emily - but most of the drama comes from trying to spare Emily from any knowledge of how her father died.

The opening of the story caught my interest, but unfortunately I quickly became impatient. I especially despise stories which involve keeping hard truths from young girls to 'spare' them and though the "I Say No" is basically cautioning against exactly that course, the actions of the characters frustrated me to an extreme degree. Especially when Emily is hardly a wilting and fragile blossom.

Hopefully better luck with the next book in the wad.

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