18 October 2013

Review: East Lynne by Ellen Wood

Trade paperback, 644 pages
Published 2008 (originally 1860-61)

Acquired and read September 2013
East Lynne
by Ellen Wood

Shouldn't a sensation novel be... more sensational? Yes, it's about sensational topics, but part of the critique of sensation novels is that they made you feel sensations-- unnatural, manipulated ones, according to the critics. And I've definitely felt that way reading Wilkie Collins; few things in literature have unnerved me as much as that moment where Count Fosco seizes Marion's diary in The Woman in White. There's nothing like that here; I just never felt emotionally connected to the characters or events of East Lynne. It's basically your typical Victorian domestic novel with some unusual twists and a poor mystery wedged into it. Not bad, but not very interesting, either.

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