[Book Review] The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

cover from goodreads
by Modern Library 
Title: The Moonstone
Author: Wilkie Collins
Release Date: January 12, 2006 [EBook #155]
The Project Gutenberg EBook [www.gutenberg.org]
Language: English
Produced by John Hamm and David Widger

“The Moonstone will have its vengeance yet on you and yours!”


How did a gem can take a vengeance on people? The Moonstone isn’t an ordinary gem. It’s a sacred gem which being kept carefully in a sacred temple in India. It’s very important for the Indian, and if the gem is stolen, the priest of the temple will hunt down the perpetrator to get it. Moreover, it is said that the gem is cursed and will bring misfortune for the keeper and his/her descendant and family.

The story of the Moonstone has reached the British troops in India and one of them named John Herncastle take the risk to steal it. He has stained his hands with blood of the priest temple to get the gem and after that he lives his life miserably until he died. He died in London, but the gem has been ordered to be gifted to his niece on her birthday.

Rachel Verinder is the birthday girl and Franklin Blake is the person who is given the task to give the Moonstone to her. Franklin Blake likes Rachel and so does her even though she has been paired with Godfrey Ablewhite. Rosanna Spearmann, a housemaid in Verinder’s household, likes Franklin Blake. Everything seems to be okay. Their feelings are kept only in the heart, until the Moonstone is vanished. Everyone is in distress.

My review:

Phew --- that’s where everything is started. Rachel turned cold towards Franklin. Franklin is bewildered. As he asked for an investigation to get the Moonstone, Rachel becomes colder and even rejects the investigation. Sergeant Cuff, the investigator obliged to stop the investigation because of Rachel’s rejection.

I’m also as confused as Franklin. Rachel seemed down knowing her gem vanished, but when Franklin asked for an investigation to find it so that she could be happy again, she rejects it. What is this girl doing? What does she want? It just makes her more suspected as the perpetrator. Wait, she stole her own gem? What kind of plot is this? Well, it just make the story is getting interesting.

At first, the story has a strong indication of love quadrilateral: Godfrey likes Rachel and has been paired since they were kids, but Rachel likes Franklin and so does he. And Franklin is liked by Rosanna, a housemaid. Somehow, the Moonstone has brought them together but also makes them apart.

Because Rachel is distressed, she goes out of town with her mother. There, she accepts Godfrey’s proposal, but then she broke it off only a few days after she accepted it! [This girl is indeed very weird]. At that time, Franklin goes out of the country to calm his mind, until a letter came and he return to England. He wants to meet Rachel even though she rejects him every time, until an opportunity comes, he can meet her alone. After some fights, Rachel tells him a weird story about the night when the Moonstone disappeared.

This story has mystery, about the vanishing gem. This story also has a romantic outcome, about who loves who, who will get who, because of the gem has brought them together and makes them apart with wounded heart. This story also has a psychological plot, about the weird action of Rachel. She deliberately makes herself into suspicion by rejecting the investigation of her own disappearing gem, and when she broke off a proposal only a few days after she accepted it. It makes me wonder, is she having what is called: mental disorder.

But, no. The experts mentions here stated that Rachel is okay, she was just upset. Besides, she is still very young, nineteen years old. Well, that’s explains. But, is it really?

The Moonstone is indeed a very long story. I finished it in a very long time because of my poor English [it’s really hard for me to read a long-winded language]. It is written in several people’s writing and report, because of Franklin’s request. It's also contained letters and all correspondence needed to track down the gem. The first story is very detailed, but Betterege’s writing is boring. It’s getting interesting when it gets to Franklin’s writing. I also like Sergeant Cuff’s report which explained the mystery uncovering. And also Ezra Jennings writing and story which is touching in my opinion.

Where’s the Moonstone? Who stole it? Maybe the cursed gem has found its way to return to its origin…

About the Author:
Wilkie Collins

A close friend of Charles Dickens' from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William "Wilkie" Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for fifty years. Most of his books are in print, and all are now in e-text. He is studied widely; new film, television, and radio versions of some of his books have been made; and all of his letters have been published. However, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.