As soon as I got the book, I sat glued to my computer and finished reading it by the time it was absolutely necessary for me to go eat something. It’s been a long time since I read a book in one sitting. This is a very involving story that just draws you in completely and keeps you at the edge of your seat, eager to find out what happens next. It is a short but powerful read that manages to convey a lot of meaning in so few pages.
The characterization is brilliant. There were times when I felt like kicking some of the nosy characters myself and realized how effectively the writer had brought that feeling out in me. I love how the author has conveyed the most important messages, that sense of helplessness in the victims through dialogue between the characters instead of describing it. Being a huge Oscar Wilde fan, I found the discussions about his conviction especially touching and the way people were against him, especially irritating. Not to mention, the quotes by Wilde at the start of every chapter were wonderful.
Though the book is set in 1895, it is painfully relevant even today. This story ends on a relatively happy note, but it is crushing to think that most cases of oppression don’t end all that well. The story presents all the different clashing points of view (in a biased fashion, maybe), but the point, for me, was not to show what is right and wrong. What the book suggests is to think before forming opinions, to honestly question your beliefs.
I would have liked it better if the back-stories of the characters were revealed in a less abrupt way and the author hadn’t kept switching the narration back and forth in time – these things were noticeable while reading the first half of the book, but once I got to the very end, they didn’t really matter much. Some books just deserve to be read by everyone, and this is one of those!