Saturday, 28 December 2019

Poor Miss Finch

Poor Miss Finch, written by Wilkie Collins, was published in 1872.  It tells the story of Lucilla Finch, a rich young woman, who has been blind from infancy.  The narrator is Mrs Pratolunga, an interesting character, who is Lucilla's paid companion.  Without giving away the plot, this is a story of love, deceit and mixed identities as two young men, who are twins, both fall in love with Lucilla.

I struggled to finish this book, finding it too long and a bit far-fetched.  The only character I liked was Mrs Pratolunga who was a useful narrator, living with Lucilla and able to observe everything that went on in the household.  Her comments were witty adding to my enjoyment of the book.  Her dislike of Reverend Finch, Lucilla's father, was evident in such comments as "that he would end in being reconciled to his daughter—before her next subscription to the household expenses fell due—was a matter of downright certainty." Mrs Pratolunga says of herself, "And I? Oh, I am only a human being—and I feel painfully conscious that I have no business to be in a book".

The novel does successfully describe what is feels like to be blind and to be given the opportunity to see again. However it is certainly not in the same class as The Moonstone or The Woman in White.

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