Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
“You have been in every line I have ever read.” ✨Favorite quote✨
What a wild ride this was for my first Dickens (other than A Christmas Carol). For my whole life I’ve been curious about Dickens but too scared to actually follow through and finish any of his books. And this is a difficult review for me to write because I feel like everyone knows about Great Expectations. But, here goes anyway!
Phillip “Pip” Pirrup, a poor orphan who dreams to be a gentleman, is given the chance he has always wanted. But what does he make of it? Pip is possibly one of the best protagonists I’ve ever followed in a story. His character arch is beautiful, tragic, and meaningful. The story starts with a bang when he encounters an escaped convict in a graveyard. From there, we follow him on a journey of self-realization and growth, until he is an adult. The other unforgettable characters in this story are Ms. Havisham, spurned bride left at the altar many years before and never forgotten it; Estella, beautiful, proud, cold girl that Pip loves in spite of himself; Joe Gargery, Pip’s ever-faithful friend and once guardian; Able Magwitch, convict and Pip’s surprise benefactor; among many many more. One thing I really loved about this book was the way we got to know each and every character. Dickens has a unique writing style that surprised me in a good way – gritty, eccentric, and yet darkly comical. I was very *there* with the characters, both in terms of knowing them and also living the setting.
The most interesting aspects of the story for me were: Ms. Havisham and her disturbing life and mental state ???, the way Pip processes his relationship with Joe as he rises and then falls again, and the relationship between Pip and Magwitch.
This was a 4.5 star read for me and I cannot wait to read more Dickens and discover more about himself as a writer and the tales he spun.