Oh, hai! I read books, then I write down what I think of them.
I came to this book with no knowledge of Wilkie Collins' The Woman In White, and very little knowledge of Dickens' Bleak House - I vaguely remember the BBC TV series. I didn't have any great problems following the plot or anything else, but I am left with the feeling that various things have passed me by. The book is slow to get going, but once it does, it's quite good ... in parts. It's a bit too cute for its own good at times (having a character reading a Charles Dickens novel aloud, for instance), and the various walk-on cameos are exactly that and as a consequence bog down the text somewhat. The great problem for me is the point: I miss it. If I'm able to read and - fairly - enjoy it without having read Bleak House, why does it need to be so linked at all? What does it bring to the party? I do feel that if the author had made everything up themselves, the whole thing would have been far more enjoyable. I was reminded very much of Essie Fox's Elijah's Mermaid which I disliked because of it's epically stupid plotting in the second half, but if you like that (or this), you'll probably like the other.