I could not put this book down. Maybe I should’ve been in the Victorian period because I love this genre of fiction crimes and mysteries. It really is interesting to think about what counts as evidence in these kinds of stories. I tend to look more at the implied or theoretical side of things (aka not the empirical side) when I read these kinds of books so it is a good challenge for me to note the use of logical evidence throughout our reading.
I like the way Braddon uses her rational evidence. Braddon creates this visual for the reader just like those scenes in the Sherlock Holmes movies where time freezes and you zone into one specific thing, and then as though nothing happened at all the story moves on. This left me wondering whether or not the highlighted information was important, or just there to trip me up? Three big examples of this questionable, rational evidence start in the very beginning. In Chapter 1 we hear a lot about Lady Audley’s ribbon, “she wore a narrow black ribbon around her neck… whatever the trinket was, she always kept it hidden under her dress” (chapter 1). The hidden nature of the ribbon made me curious, and when the ribbon showed back up later on in the story my interest peaked. In the third chapter I definitely thought that Phoebe and Luke’s discovery of the baby shoe and hair was tangible evidence. And the third example from the early chapters is later on when George is given a clip of Helen’s hair which he recognizes, but interestingly mentions how it used to be a little different when she was alive. This a great example of a time when I was unsure whether Braddon was giving me a hint, or simply trying to confuse me more.
I am very eager to see how each of these clear materials (the ribbon, the baby shoe and hair, and Helen’s hair) will play into the evidence, and into the mystery of this story. After looking for these specific details, Braddon successfully grabbed my attention and stirred a whole new group of questions and ideas.