It’s quite remarkable that a book can both enthral you and keep you hooked on the plot but at the same time be written in a style that has you nodding off a little on the train, but this one managed it.
This is the first Dickens novel I’ve read and I wasn’t expecting it to be easy but I did struggle. I adjusted to the language eventually but the description of the village of St Antoine, that all I really took from was that it was poor, starving and oppressed was a struggle. I mean why use three words when you can use three pages?
That being said, I really loved the story and just the book. I think this is further amplified by my reason for starting with this particular Dickens novel before the others, which is that it is referenced a lot in The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare (which I now need to re-read having read this).
Syndey has most definitely joined the list of my all-time favourite characters and Madame Defarge has joined the list of most hated (I thought she was a brilliant villain, especially since I didn’t even realise she was one until much later) and I definitely plan on reading this again.
Why the differentiation between book reviews and classic bookreviews? I’m so glad you asked. Mainly because all classics are classics for a reason and a full-length review on a book most people know a fair bit about is going to be dull for all involved, these, like biscuits, will be short and sweet.
This is only the second (and a half) Austen novel I have read, the first being Pride and Prejudice (an all time favourite), the half being an attempt at Mansfield Park that was abandoned because Fanny Price is insufferable. Though I don’t think it was as good as P&P it definitely secured me as a fan of Austen’s work and redeemed the evils of Mansfield Park.
Emma finally learns her lesson which I was very happy about because though there are many faults in her, she’s really not so bad. Mr. Knightly (sigh) may (I admit nothing) have overtaken Mr. Darcy as my favourite of Austen’s characters (so far … maybe) and Mr. Woodhouse is so ridiculous he didn’t even annoy me he just made me laugh. I couldn’t help but compare him to Mr. Bennet and wonder how Emma possibly coped with him, I also for some reason thought that he was a good idea of what Gilderoy Lockhart would be like in retirement.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and even though all the characters annoyed me in some way or other (even Mr. Knightley, in love with her, when she was 13? He would have been 29, I get it was different back then but the reassurance that the love was platonic or familial at that point would have been nice) I was generally really happy with the outcome for everyone.
It could only have been improved if Mrs Elton and her cara sposo , Mr. E would ride their barouche-landau over the edge of a cliff.