Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins

Poormissfinch_2 Is this book ever heating up.

Here’s the scenario:

An Italian widow comes to live with the Finch family, to be a companion to the blind daughter who was the product of Rev. Finch’s marriage to his first wife, a woman who promptly died after the birth of little Lucilla. Lucilla was born with her sight, but at one year of age was struck blind.

Lucilla does very well for herself using her other senses, and takes justifiable delight and pride in her independence, yet the Finches feel she needs a companion with whom to share her days.  For one thing, the second Mrs. Finch has FOURTEEN CHILDREN to care for, and can’t keep watch on them and Lucilla at the same time. Enter her companion, whose real purpose in the book is to be the narrator of Lucilla’s life.

Lucilla falls in love with Oscar Dubourg, after hearing his voice one day. Eventually he also falls in love with the beautiful blind girl, but after a head injury suffered during a robbery at his shop (he’s a gold/silversmith who creates lovely sculptures, vases, etc.) he develops epilepsy, a fact that threatens his marital plans with Lucilla. One day a specialist tells Oscar he can, in fact, be cured, but the price is high. Silver nitrate will cure his epilepsy, but it will also turn him a dark blueish black color. He thinks to himself, his bride will never see his true color and his secret can be kept. But, it’s also true Lucilla has a horror of “dark people,” and her chief delight  upon first meeting Oscar was in hearing he was even more fair than she…

Dum, dum, dummmm……

So, things are coming along nicely until the day Oscar’s twin brother, Nugent, arrives. Nugent is an artist who’s been away in America (WHY he’s been away I won’t tell you…), and he and Oscar are very close. Lucilla’s completely jealous of Nugent’s place in Oscar’s heart, and when Nugent meets Lucilla he’s struck by her beauty.  Upon seeing her he also feels compelled to tell her companion he knows an eye specialist who may be able to restore Lucilla’s sight.

So, Oscar’s posed to marry Lucilla, and Oscar’s bright blueish/black. His epilepsy is nearly cured, and Lucilla’s none the wiser as to his “new look.” Nugent’s on the scene, ready to send away for the doctor who may or may not restore Lucilla’s sight…

Phew!

That’s where I’m at in the book right now, and I really won’t spoil the plot by telling you any more than this. I’m just thrilled by the plot of this book, and though I can imagine what MAY happen, I don’t know what WILL…

Wilkiecollins_1 Here’s to William Wilkie Collins and this very satisfying read. It has me biting my nails off in consternation and nervousness. He’s seldom let me down with his books in the past, and I have a feeling this one may be one of those I’ll be recommending. I do know I can’t wait to find how all this turns out.

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2 thoughts on “Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins

  1. It’s really started to get GOOD, Ex Libris, in a serious, can’t-be-put-down way! I won’t spoil the ending but you can be sure I’ll post on what I think of it.
    I have a feeling 2007 may slant a bit more back toward the Victorians, though I will also try my best to keep up with what’s new on the scene. I just feel such an urge to get back to these older books. I miss them!

    Like

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