Study Guide

The Woman in White Tough-o-Meter

By Wilkie Collins

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(5) Tree Line

This book is a pretty fast read, considering how long it is, and there are plenty of cliffhangers and action to keep things moving right along at breakneck speed.

But the main thing that makes this novel a challenge is its age. There are some historical references and plot points that might not make a ton of sense to the modern reader: why is it so easy to check someone in to an insane asylum? What's the deal with the whole "illegitimacy" scandal? Why doesn't Laura just grow a dang spine, already? Luckily, you have your good buddy Shmoop to help you make sense of all those fusty Victorian moral puzzles.

Other than that, the actual reading experience isn't too difficult—in fact, it's pretty fun. After all, it's the first mystery novel… and mystery novels are designed to be as enjoyable, compelling, and addictive as possible.

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