The Dead Secret
The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins.
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 9, 2009)
From the Publisher
"I want something I can "read" read." That's a sentiment familiar to most readers, expressive of a desire for a thumping good tale, for stirringly compelling storytelling. The immensely popular Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins has long been a favorite with those who find themselves in the mood to "read" read. Originally published in 1857, "The Dead Secret," with its powerful blend of sensational drama and gripping psychological portraiture, shows Collins to be a master storyteller indeed.
I have to say that I really like Wilkie Collins.
I have read, The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Haunted Hotel, some short stories and now The Dead Secret, and there’s not a one I haven’t enjoyed!
The Dead Secret begins with a woman dying and her personal maid by her side. The maid is made to write down a secret the woman has kept from her husband and didn’t have the will to tell him even on her deathbed. The maid (Sarah) is made to swear she will give him the letter upon her death. She is also sworn (upon threats that she will haunt her if she doesn’t do this) that she won’t destroy the letter. That she won’t take the letter with her should she leave the house, and that she would answer all of his questions upon his reading the letter.
Not wanting to give him the letter or be questioned after her death, the maid hides the letter in a portion of the mansion where no one goes and runs away.
The book then picks up years later when the child of the dead woman is getting married.
Collins skillfully twists and turns the rest of the story around the maid that ran away and the child who married and just gave birth to her own child.
He keeps the book very interesting and weaves in such wonderful descriptions of the old mansion and the times in which the story takes place. As always this story was written for the chapters to appear in periodicals and then put together as a book. If you have read any Wilkie Collins and enjoyed his writing this book will not disappoint you!
Many (many!) thanks to Debi for finding and gifting me such a wonderful book! It will be a keeper with my other Wilkie Collins books!