The Two Destinies
By Wilkie Collins
I encourage fiction lovers to read the classical writings that they can obtain free from sources such as amazon kindle because the copyrights on this literature have expired. Many of these books are fun to read and good literature, well written, suspenseful, opening a world many know nothing or little about, writings enjoyed by generations of readers. Wilkie Collins’ books are a good example.
Collins (1824-1889) was a close friend of Charles Dickens. He collaborated with Dickens in writing several plays and fictional works. He wrote novels, plays, and short stories. He is best known for three of his many novels Moonstone, The Woman in White, and No Name. Many fiction lovers consider Moonstone the first detective novel in the English language and reject the idea that Edgar A. Poe wrote in the genre before him. Experts call his works “sensation novels.”
I recommend reading these three books. They are superb. The Two Destinies is a romance novel, not one of his best. In fact many readers think the story too simple and over-long. However, readers who enjoy romance novels will like it.
Briefly stated, the book contains several interwoven plots, and I will only sketch the beginnings, so as not to reveal much. An American couple visits an English couple and is surprised to discover that ladies are boycotting them despite them being very nice people; they wonder why and are told that if they read the story of their lives they will understand. The story concerns a boy and girl. The girl’s grandmother says they are destined for each other, nothing will keep them apart, even if they separate, they will find each other. The boy’s father does not like the relationship, fires the girl’s father who works for him; and the girl’s father leaves without telling anyone where they are going. Years pass. Both the boy and girl change their names because of significant reasons, and because of circumstances their appearances have changed. The boy and girl meet again but do not recognize the other is their destined partner, and become involved in various events together. During this time, the boy meets a young woman whose face was badly disfigured and who is not healthy, but she is in love with the boy. She secures a promise from the boy which will affect his future.
Again, this is not one of Collin’s best books, but after reading the above-mentioned three, one may enjoy this romance, which is far better than many romance novels written today.