Monday, March 14, 2005

Great Expectations

Amish Neighbors
-Charles Wysocki

My current read is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. This is the second book my husband and I are reading together as part of our "Marital Bliss Book Club." The last book we read, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, was not well liked by either one of us, so we are happily moving on to something new.

Believe it or not, this is my first exposure to Dickens, and so far I love it! Characters in a book are always of primary importance to me because they draw me into a story. Quirky characters are my favorite, especially when they are have realistic features alongside their off-beat characteristics. I am impressed with Dickens ability to fix a person in my imagination with fifty words or less.

Here he describes Joe:

"My sister having so much to do, was going to church vicariously; that is to say, Joe and I were going. In his working clothes, Joe was a well-knit characteristic-looking blacksmith; in his holiday clothes, he was more like a scarecrow in good circumstances, than anything else."

And here he describes Uncle Pumblechook:

"'Mrs. Joe,' said Uncle Pumblechook; a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head, so that he looked as if he had just been all but choked, and had that moment come to..."

Not only has Mr. Dickens given me an idea of their appearance, but also of their personality. Even though I am only on page 79, I can tell that this is going to be an interesting story. So far this book has captured me, made me laugh and has caused me to look forward to more!

Happy reading!