Armadale - Wilkie Collins, Catharine Peters

A spoiler-ish rambling.

Am I mad? Yes; all people who are as miserable as I am are mad. 

Before I started this book, I expected that Miss Lydia Gwilt (35) is going to be evil and manipulative as Shakespeare's Iago. And while she definitely lied, manipulated and was ready to commit a fraud and murder, she wasn't evil and not even cruel. Years of poverty, abuse and betrayal had made her an angry, lonely, embittered and desperate woman, and yet she was strong, intelligent and had wicked sense of humour. 

Who cares for the misery of such a woman as I am? who believes in it? 

And her hate towards Allan(22) grows when Midwinter(21) is cold towards her, and when she sees that Midwinter loves him more than her. [...]my mind went back to what he had said to me about myself. In remembering 'the miserable day' when we first saw each other, and 'the better angel' that had warned him to 'fly the sight of my face She is betrayed by her husband and it hurts, and she returns to her plotting. 

*Allan is one of the most irritating characters ever, in Miss Gwilt's words a rattle-pated young fool— one of those noisy, rosy, light-haired, good-tempered men whom I particularly detest. Honestly, I stopped reading this book at 28% and didn't touch it almost for a month because he annoyed me so much. 

I didn't like Miss Milroy(16) She, too, is rosy and foolish; and, what is more, awkward and squat and freckled, and ill-tempered and ill-dressed. In another life she might have become "wicked" as Miss Gwilt. She clearly showed that she isn't as naive and innocent as she acts, but since she acted like that to get a husband, most people wouldn't even notice it, I think. 

*One of the questions Collins's asks in this book is Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not? 
Just compare Allan and Midwinter with their fathers, and you have an answer. (Their mothers weren’t better) 

*Did someone else notice that Mr Brock and Miss Oldershaw, and the Pedgifts and the Bashwoods are portrayed as complete opposites? 

*And big kudos to Collins for believing in women rights and creating a cool mixed race character. 

* While reading the last part I listened to Silentium, Arvo Pärt.