ANYWAY, onto stuff that the people actually care about! But where to even begin?! Oh, wait I know: ANNE WAS MR FAIRLIE'S CHILD!!! Of course she was. I was so happy to be vindicated on that one point though that I actually slapped my own thigh and ended up really hurting myself. But it was a complete "I KNEW it!" moment. While we're on the subject of Anne, I have to add that her mother was really a stone cold bitch, and is probably now my least favourite of all the unsavoury characters of the book- her only concern is about her reputation, which she's determined to preserve without actually doing any of the things that would earn her a good reputation. UGH I really hated her! But anyway, I was glad there was a little bit of an ending to poor Anne's story:
"So the ghostly figure [HAH, GHOSTLY!] which has haunted these pages as it haunted my life, goes down into the impenetrable Gloom. Like a shadow she first came to me, in the loneliness of the night. Like a shadow she passes away, in the loneliness of the dead."Cheery stuff!
Now I'm going to have a big moan about Walter, so brace yourself if you're still hot for him and his newfound balls. Because oh my GOD, the annoyance over how he treats Laura! And it was especially annoying because Marian was totally complicit in his treating Laura as a child, which made me a bit irritated by Marian of all people too! So here's one bit:
"The necessity of sparing Laura any sudden knowledge of the truth was the first consideration which the latter suggested to me. I wrote at once to Marian... warning her not to let any such thing as a newspaper fall in Laura's way while I was absent."WHY THE HELL NOT?! Because Walter's presence is going to be better than Marian's in calming her down, Marian being her total rock and comforter and all? Or because she's going to be really upset that her abusive husband that she hated is dead? POOR LAURA CAN'T COPE WITH ANYTHING! And then there was also this:
"When Laura has left us; and when we could speak to one another without restraint, I tried to give some expression to the gratitude and the admiration which filled my heart [to Marian]""Oh Marian, thanks for looking after the child for ME, who otherwise you would have no interest in taking care of. Also, let's keep quiet about the death of her husband, even though she obviously finds out about it somehow because I marry her in a few pages, without explaining how that's possible since she doesn't have her identity back yet." Yeah, that annoyed me too. WHY ARE YOU SO ANNOYING, WALTER?!
Anyway, let's just ignore Walter for a sec (even though he's there all the fucking time) and get to the real excitement of this whole end thing which was OMG PESCA'S INVOLVED WITH SOME DODGY POLITICAL THING AND FOSCO'S A SPY! I mean, seriously, did anyone see this coming?! Because when Walter took Pesca to the opera, I was like "Why are you such a moron, Walter? Why would Pesca know Fosco just because they're both Italian? Stupid racist." and then, lo and behold, they did! I mean, I was totally like OMFG THIS IS AMAZING, but at the same time, couldn't Collins have thought of some other way to get the story out of Fosco without that whole (amazing) thing?! Because it definitely wasn't Walter's main concern, and it was just a bit like WOAH what's going on, and, well, DRAMA!
So anyway, then Fosco's narrative was pretty awesome and made me actually sort of love him. Hear me out: He loves Marian! Marian is his one weakness in life! (I've just remembered another annoying thing- where Walter wouldn't let Marian go to the final showdown with Fosco with him. ARGH, so annoying!) He has really amazing taste in women! Anyone who's in love with Marian is a friend of mine, you know? And even though he sort of killed Anne (except that he didn't- but he would have if he had had to) and he put Laura in the asylum (and was all like 'oh, but I was only going to take her identity and not her life!' apparently not realising that for a rich English lady, her identity is her life) I was still a bit like 'oh, ok... I'll let you off!' I was a bit disappointed by the realisation that he didn't have any special power over his wife or anything, and that she was just a bit of a nincompoop for completely sacrificing herself to him, but oh well. So, yeah, I ended up pretty much liking him and his massive ego, so I was actually a little bit upset by reports of his death.
And then they killed off Mr Fairlie too! Like, oh here you go, boring Laura and Walter, there are no interesting characters around anymore to interfere with your boring life together. Yawn. Although, obviously, happy ending and all, yay. I guess. Anyway, I was fairly happy that all the loose ends were tied up, and I can really only think of a couple of questions I still have-
1. Did Mrs Fairlie suspect that Anne was her husband's child, or was she just like 'ooh, what a coincidence!' I kind of hope the former, and that she was so lovely that she just had to take her under her wing.
2. Didn't Laura care that her half sister was dead? Or was that information just kept from her too, because she's too delicate? And how did she even have a child, if she's supposedly so weak?!
Here endeth my thoughts about The Woman in White. *Applauds* Good readalong people, good readalong!