Oh, Sydney Carlton, forgive me, for I knew not that you existed.
In fact, I spent years dismissing Dickens. Yes, I loved Great Expectations. A Christmas Carol was an atmospheric read at Christmas. I studied Little Dorrit for A’ Level and then forgot all about it.
I remember an old lady in a hotel once telling my brother that he would return to Shakespeare. I thought at the time that I was glad she didn’t say it to me as nothing would be more likely to put me off than someone else’s certainty that I would like it. (I did – and still do – love Shakespeare; my brother had loved him and left him. I’m not sure how he feels now.) Shakespeare, however, is not the issue here. Dickens is. And I loved this book. I read it all in the sunshine last week. I had an appointment four chapters from the end and I almost didn’t go. I only finished it six days ago and I’m already re-reading it.
Repression, obsession, passion, incarceration and resurrection; it has it all.