Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
(Summary taken from the inside book cover) “Bound for life as a lowly blacksmith, Philip “Pip” Pirrip desperately wants to impress beautiful Estella, the spoiled ward of Miss Havisham, a wealthy and bizarre woman. But Estella has a heart of stone, and she makes Pip miserable every time he visits her at Miss Havisham’s dreary old mansion. Then fate steps in: a secret benefactor sets Pip up as a well-to-do gentleman with a fanciful life in London. But something sinister from his past is lurking in the shadows. Will Pip thrive in his new life? Is Estella his true love and soul mate? And will Pip’s past forever haunt him?”
I read Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” years ago, and remember enjoying it, so I was excited to read “Great Expectations.” Unfortunately, this book just didn’t meet my great expectations (haha….I couldn’t resist). It was Pip. He drove me crazy. He was a spoiled brat. I thought he was ungrateful, mean, condescending, unintelligent, uncaring, and distasteful. I didn’t like him at all. And seeing how he was the main character, that made this a long and difficult read. It took me a very long time to read this book. I found it difficult to read, and slow going, because there were many words that I did not know. They may have been well known in Dicken’s time, but they are meaningless now, and so I just had to plow through and guess at their meanings. There were some things I liked about this book. I liked Joe. He was so patient, loving, selfless, and hard working. I liked Wemmick and Herbert as well. They brought humor, love, friendship, loyalty, and selflessness to the book, and I was thankful for that.
I do like the cover of this book. The cover is actually the reason I got to read this book. Splinter New York had Sara Singh design their covers for the classics, and I really like them. I think the picture of Pip is right on. I like the expression on his face, and think the simple elegance of it fits the time period well. I think it looks pretty and am definitely putting it on display in the cabinet in my entryway.
Rating: PG+ (A few profane words, violence, murder)
Recommendation: 13 and up, just because I don’t think anyone younger would be able to understand the language of the book, or care about it.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.