15 August 2012

The Moonstone, Part 2 - In Which Someone Steals... The Show

When last we met, I was preeeeetty sure that it was Lady Verinder who threw the Moonstone into the Shifting Sands and thus was the Cause of All This Hubub.

There be spoilers in these waters, me hearties.

For a few pages of part deux, I really thought there would be so much plot and plotting that I wouldn't regret having left all my little tabs and mechanical pencil at home while I gallivanted off to Canada to meet the wonderful Rebekah Joy Plett and Bree Ogden and spend the weekend chortling mightily over the naughty bits in ARC romance novels. Who would have known that the reverse cowgirl was so funny? (Anyone who's tried it, is who. If I wanted to feel like I was going to the gym, I would just go to the damn gym. Moving on!)

So I ended up pulling all my tabs from part 1 and re-using them in part 2, but then I didn't have enough tabs, so I'mma miss some stuff in here.

Let's talk briefly about Rosanna Spearman. Remember how in the beginning she was all, "I feel I shall meet my doom here, and yet it draws me," like some emo kid with a guitar he tries to get people to call by the emo name he's given it? And you want to be all,

Steampunk is ahead of you!
It never works. She offed herself in the Shifting Sand as expected, which resulted in a triumphant "I KNEW IT!" on Twitter. Foreshadowing has to play out or it's not foreshadowing.

Speaking of foreshadowing, what the HELL, Wilkie? Betteredge and Lady Verinder have this super-touching moment where he kisses her hand and then she leaves and I'm all,

But Wilkie doesn't listen to me, so the narrative leaves Betteredge and moves to London, but not before Betteredge says,"don't believe Miss Clack if she talks shit about me," whereupon we know two things for sure: 1) Miss Clack will be a narrator, and 2) she will probably be HILARIOUS.

And she IS. She scatters religious tracts titled things like, "Satan under the Tea Table"and "A Word with you on your Cap-Ribbons," like they're Smarties (cap-ribbons being notoriously sexy in Victorian times, I don't know if you knew).

Loose cap ribbons are the equivalent of loose morals! Mrowr.
And she brings religious books to her sick aunt and hides them about the house, and she thinks Rachel is the snootiest snoot ever, which makes me love her even though I have a moralizing relative like Miss Clack and he is INSUFFERABLE IRL.

The proposal scene between Rachel and Godfrey is completely stolen by Miss Clack, who is hiding behind the curtains and has decided to "meet her martyrdom like a primitive Christian" by arranging the curtains so she can both see and hear what's going on in the room. And then when Rachel accepts him - which I begin to believe is no more than Godfrey deserves, the prig - they start making out (as is only proper, just being affianced), and Miss Clack is SO SHOCKED that she doesn't know whether to stop her ears or close her eyes first, so she freezes and conveniently does neither.

"I attribute my still being able to hold the curtain in the right position for looking and listening, entirely to suppressed hysterics. In suppressed hysterics, it is admitted, even by the doctors, that one must hold something." (p. 237)
I sniggered into my novel on the plane and the lady next to me probably thought I was mental.

As amusing as Miss Clack is, this is where I'm pretty sure Wilkie's views on religion - or at least the smugly religious - come out. We had a bit of it in The Woman in White with the Very Religious Housekeeper who was completely duped by Fosco, in part because of her religion. And now we have Miss Clack, whose religious zeal is absurd and through which she allows herself to behave hypocritically.

And then, Lady Verinder dies of heart disease before Rachel can tell her she (Rachel) is engaged, but more importantly before she can confess her undying love for Betteredge and get him to FLY to her side and speak the words they've both been longing to hear.

You know what, Wilkie?

But not really because I need to know what happens.