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The Moonstone: All Things Must End. Exchange Your Friendship Bracelets Now.

Sigh. Another month over, another readalong finished. But LET US NOT BE DOWNHEARTED. For Laura at Devouring Texts is going to host one for Grapes of Wrath in October, and all will be magical. Also sad. Very, very sad. Because Grapes of Wrath. But there will be gifs, and that's what really matters.

First off. Wilkie.

We would like to express our undying love and passion, but you're dead (like so many people in this book — and by the way, wtf, sir) and so all we can do is tell others of your mighty deeds. And by mighty deeds, I mean giving us the character of Gooseberry, aka OCTAVIUS GUY.

This would be his business card

I want a spinoff called The Further Adventures of Sergeant Cuff and Octavius Guy. And then there'll be ANOTHER spinoff when Cuff gets too old called Sherlock & Octavius where they do a crossover and solve crimes together like a detective Odd Couple. I am ALREADY SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS and it doesn't exist.

Also, I am genuinely disappointed in Wilkie for not continuing the character of Gooseberry. Y'know what, Wilkie? Balzac was writing around the same time as you, and he had his characters appear in multiple books. WHY ARE YOU LETTING THE FRENCH SHOW US UP?

But for realsies, how was this book? There were no strong female POVs, and I admit to being sad about that, but we were seriously, totally and completely spoiled by Marian. Marian is a prince among female characters. Or something. And an anomaly in Victorian lit. Marian should not exist. And we are sooooo happy she does, because next to the Cult of Wilkie is the Cult of Marian, but we can't expect her in every book. That being said, Moonstone pretty much just enhanced my Wilkie love.

Now. Ezra Jennings.

EZRA JENNINGS HAS DREAMY BROWN EYES. So sayeth Franklin Blake. Because it's like Wilkie WANTS us to gay up all his books. But no, Franklin + Rachel 4evs, plus I just really love Ezra. Like a lot. A whole...whole lot. But I also really love highlighting things like "What is the secret of the attraction that there is for me in this man?" and writing "YOUR GAYNESS." Because it's funny, you see.

I almost got all weepy when I read that Ezra was dead. But we knew it was coming. Oh, we knew. Because 90 billion other people had already died in this book.

1. Lady Verinder - *sob* says Betteredge, while leafing through Robinson Crusoe in search of consolation and finding NONE because Lady Verindeeeeer!

2. Franklin's dad - Postponing Franklin's desert wanderings.

3. Rosanna - I can't believe she's really dead. I STILL can't believe it. This was all a big hoax perpetrated by her and Lucy. Yes. That.

4. That one guy who put down the carpet - GONE, and now they have to deal with the second best carpet-installer in England. Ew gross.

5. GODFREY ABLEWHITE - Was he supposed to be a big fat guy? I guess they said his face was round. But I was still SURPRISED, people. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I'm sure other people died and I've just forgotten them. But EZRA WHYYYYYY YOU WERE THE BEST NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I found myself caring much more for side characters than Franklin, Rachel, Mr. Bruff or — no, I love Betteredge's face off.

Speaking as a servant, I am deeply indebted to you. Speaking as a man, I consider you to be a person whose head is full of maggots

Betteredge, Cuff, Ezra, and Octavius Guy are all amazing. I want us all to live in an apartment building and have super-fun parties.

But for serious, cows are very useful animals, you guys.

I DON'T KNOW. It's 11 p.m. and this book is Not Very Serious and I cannot seriously evaluate it, because that's not how I do. I mean, what happens? A diamond is stolen from India. A diamond is stolen from England. A diamond is returned to India. THAT IS THE BOOK. Also there is some opium. Which as far as I'm concerned is like Wilkie using The Secret in a book nowadays. "Oh, you don't believe in this super-awesome thing I'm totally into? WHAT IF IT SOLVES ALL YOUR SLEEPING PROBLEMS." I'm not buying your opium propaganda, sir. I've read The Lotos-Eaters, I know what goes on.

I WILL MISS YOUR WEEKLY POSTS, PEOPLE. We will read more Wilkie next year. We totally will. Because this is the funnest and I love you all.


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