Chicks On Lit discussion

Archive 08-19 BR & Challenges > Moonstone Spoilers Chapters 1-9

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Let's read chapters 1-9 today and come back tomorrow and comment. Have fun and happy reading! I will set up a folder for tomorrow's read and so on.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So everyone, what do you think of our novel? I know it was quite a bit to read, but the bulk of our characters have been introduced and I think in a delightful way by Mr Betteredge. He is such a hoot isn't he? I loved when he starts out on the first chapter with his little swipe at lawyers. "Not perceiving his drift yet, and thinking it always desirable for the sake of peace and quietness to be on the lawyer's side, I said I thought so... Since Collins was trained as a lawyer but never practiced, I think it was his way to get in a bit of a rub against the profession.

There are elements of everything here with the characters, from lovely (Miss Rachel) to dastardly (Colonel Herncastle), the I am not sure yet characters (Rosanna Spearman and Franklin Blake), the mysterious (the three Indians) and the haughty (Lady Verinder).

How does everyone like the writing style? Do you feel like you are being spoken to individually as you sit down with Betteredge for a conversation? I found myself smiling on a number of things he said.

...and oh the quick sand!!! Who or what might wind up there?

Take your time and don't worry if you are unable to keep up. There will be threads for you for the various readings. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. :)

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments I am a little behind. Reading chapter 4 at the moment but hoping to get a lot behind me today!
So far I am enjoying being introduced to the characters and his writing style seems very personal. I do feel like Betteredge is writing just for me :). It makes you all the more invested in the story/ characters and really helps draw you in.

message 4: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I am really behind, had a virus yesterday and spent most of the day sleeping. I am going to get started today and jump back in later.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) No rush, Girls. Feel better, Vicki.

message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 544 comments I am very much enjoying this book. I do feel as though Betteredge is writing just to me. The characters are quite interesting and I have most definitely been drawn into this book!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I am really glad that you like it so far, Melissa.

Betteredge lends so much fun to the story. I loved when he said " I wonder whether the gentlemen who make a business and a living out of writing books, ever find their own selves getting in the way of their subjects, like me?" I think he might be a personification of Collins. (not taking themselves seriously is great!)

message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Almost everything about Collins impressess me. I wanted to back up to the preface. It appears he wrote Mooonstone when he was in ill health. He talks about despite it all taking pains to make it a success for his reader as his writing was once of his prides and pleasures in life. The fact that he rallied at this time says alot. He seemed more worried about the public getting their story than him. I would have LOVED to have know this man!!

I also love his writing style. The narritives follow suit to Women in White. Do to the fact that there were mysteries is this why he wrote these novels in this way? Does he use this style and perspective with others?

Hat off to Collins for being so witty and clever.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) He was a true artist of his trade, Rebecca. I guess being somewhat unorthodox in his views certainly helped him be a writer of consequence and one that has stood the test of time. I have not read his Women in White, but I sure intend to.

I would think since this novel was the basis for all other mystery novels that follow, he certainly had a formula that worked for him as well as the future generations of novelists. I, too, would have loved to have known him. I guess we would feel fortunate that here was a man who put his public's need far above his own illness.

So glad you are enjoying this book with us. :)

message 10: by Amanda (last edited Aug 17, 2010 09:40AM) (new)

Amanda | 118 comments hmmm Rosanna makes me suspicious. I want to know why she reacts to Mr. Franklin like she does...

I'm really enjoy this so far! I love Betteredge and his story telling. Just finished chapter 9.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Great, Amanda, and I, too, so see something so very sinister in Roseanna. She is strange and does have a thing for Franklin. Perhaps they "know" one another is my bet.

Don't you love Bettteredge when he explains his relationship with his wife? I loved how he said when she was going up the stairs, he was coming down and visa versa.

I also laughed so when he said that, "She was more like a fly than a woman: she couldn't settle on anything.

I am glad you are enjoying this book. :)

message 12: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Yes, Rosanna is a suspicious character. I wonder if suspicion will fall on her quickly because of her background. However, that would be too obvious, of course. It does add a bit more intrigue into the book.

I, too, am enjoying the conversational style. It's interesting when a narrator is telling you to pay attention and not let your mind wander.

I am still moving slowly along, up to chapter 6, but I am picking up pace, so I hope to get through 11 at least today. For some reason, the beginning confused me a bit, but after I settled into chapter two, I fell right into the style and I am quite enjoying it! Glad I have you ladies to read it with.

message 13: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 17, 2010 01:20PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Hi Vicki, I so agree! Roseanna would be too obvious as the thief but still she is a possible maybe. You know you are so right with Betteredge's way of waking you up to pay attention. I think his little quips work quite effectively. I love the little pokes he gives to Franklin's foreign education. (the Italian part, the German part, the French part.) I guess Collins was in favor of a good old British education.

I am glad you are here too! :) ...and hope you are feeling better.

message 14: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Thanks Marialyce! I am doing better, still dragging a bit, but getting there.

I finished through 9 now and am working on ten. I do love Betteredge. He has an interesting way about him, just like you are sitting and listening to his story. I laughed when he said his daughter was getting in his way like his wife with the stairs. He is going to make it tough for the second and third narrators!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Yes, Vicki, he is going to be a tough act to follow. Glad you are feeling better too!

message 16: by Amanda (last edited Aug 18, 2010 09:54AM) (new)

Amanda | 118 comments Vicki wrote: "Yes, Rosanna is a suspicious character. I wonder if suspicion will fall on her quickly because of her background. However, that would be too obvious, of course. It does add a bit more intrigue into..."

Vicki I too found some of the detail in the beginning hard to follow. Mostly the historical details involving the Colonel and his relationship with his family once returning from India. I don't know if it was just that I wasn't concentrating enough on the detail while I was reading or if it actually was hard to grasp. I just felt like I was confusing characters at that point. Lucky i don't feel this confusion anymore now that I have gotten further on in the story :).

message 17: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Amanda, Glad I wasn't the only one. I thought the summer made me brainless or something:) But yes, it did improve or I improved!

message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments Vicki wrote: "Amanda, Glad I wasn't the only one. I thought the summer made me brainless or something:) But yes, it did improve or I improved!"

I just needed to get the characters and circumstances all straightened out in my head lol! I think I just needed to reread it to sort it out. I am also glad I wasn't alone on this :).

message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I was confused to. I still have to go back and re-read at times but I think it's true as you go it all falls into place. No wonder Collin's quips with all his pay attention remarks. :). I had found the Robinson Crusoe cure all comments fun too.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I loved that too, Rebecca. Makes me want to read Robinson Crusoe when I am having a bad day or dealing with difficult people! :)

message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments I have never read Robinson Crusoe. Have any of you??? Is it as good as Beteredge makes it out to be??

message 22: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 20, 2010 07:15AM) (new)

Rebecca I just sent for it Amanda. I haven't read it either but I am so curious now after such intense reference in MS. I will read it after I am done with Moonstone.
What you you think of Penelope? She is so insistant on Mr. Blake. It makes me wonder as she advises her father that she must know more than I think she does.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I think you are right, Rebecca. Don't they all seem a bit off and a bit guilty? The makings of a true mystery story.

message 24: by Meera (new)

Meera I'm a little behind, only done up to chapter 7. I am enjoying it so far. I also like Mr. Betteredge's character. He's quite funny. I haven't gotten up to the missing diamond yet though.

message 25: by Vicki (new)

Vicki MG, I think we still have a little ways to go. I am starting chapter 11 and it's still around.

Take your time and enjoy the book.

message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments I agree Marialyce, everyone does seem a bit suspicious...but it is what keeps the story interesting!

message 27: by Meera (new)

Meera Vicki wrote: "MG, I think we still have a little ways to go. I am starting chapter 11 and it's still around.

Take your time and enjoy the book."

Thanks Vicki :-) Now that I've started though, I'm on a roll. I'm up to ch.13 now.

message 28: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Has anyone read Drood? It was a good book in and of itself but interesting in that it featured Collins and Dickens. It was narrated by Wilkie Collins during the time he wrote The Woman in White and The Moonstone. It also features his relationship with Charles Dickens in the last years of Dickens' life.

message 29: by Meera (new)

Meera I think I would be interested in reading that. I've also read The Woman in White, which I liked even more.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I have that book on reserve at the library, Shay. It sounds super interesting and I hope it comes in soon.

message 31: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Just finished chapter 9 last night. Does anyone understand the British fascination with India? I don't mean that like, India is yucky, but rather why of all of the British colonies did India so take hold of the British psyche? (I mean look at food, bangers and mash, toad in the hole all bland. But they eat curry takeaway.)Is it because it's mysterious or just unknowable and slightly incomprehensible to the British mind at the time. It's almost like two countries are yin and yang to each other so that India can embody all things mysterious/odd/frightening.

message 32: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 24, 2010 06:04AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) You are so right. Shay. I think it might be the power of ownership and imperialism that clicked in there. They Indians were so colonized by the Brits and I think perhaps that was pretty much their last center of colonization. They did and do seem to have a love/hate relationship with the Indians. I also think that they thought they were far superior to the Indians and thus could and did control them easily.

I also think that there is a tremendous Indian population in England and so that culture has made significant inroads into the staid British way of life. I think the Muslims are doing that presently across Europe.

message 33: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Thanks Shay, for pointing out the connection to Drood. I'll have to check that out.

I like your thought process about India. It is almost like they are intrigued by the mystery associated with India. They want to know more, but worry a bit about what is there.

message 34: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments It put me to mind of The Remains of the Day. When I saw the movie (yes, I saw the movie first), I was surprised the book was written by someone born in Japan. That he "got" British culture so well. But, it kind of made sense in a way- so many cultural similarities. So, you would think the British would be fascinated by a culture they could get a "toehold" of understanding. Yet, the Japanese, to me, are more "Francophiles" than "Anglophiles". Probably for the same reason that the English are fascinated by India.

message 35: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments Great discussion about Britain's fascination for India. It crossed my mind as I read too! Although, now that I really think about it I will probably notice this even more as I continue to read.
I think it definitely has to do with the mysterious atmosphere that always surrounds something foreign. When a place is relatively unknown to you, one tends to see it as mysterious, exotic, fascinating, and sometimes scary place. It holds so many new and exciting experiences. You want to believe that this far off place is as enchanting and different as 'they' say.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I think too, that the older the culture, the more we are fascinated with the mysticism and the way of their lives centuries ago when man less understood the ways of nature and science. They needed to put a mysterious spin to so many things and their answers to things like volcanoes and other forces of nature, etc. are still to this day enthralling.

Their centuries old medical practices are quite in vogue now as people tend to seek alternative medicine for their pain.

Now it seems like we are forced to be "muslimophiles" in this country, but in our case, it is for the worst that we consider them.

back to top