Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Great expectationsREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

A coming of age novel where a young man, Pip, has an anonymous benefactor who sponsors him in to becoming a gentleman

❚ “ Great Expectations is a story of a young man who wants more than what he is only to discover that what he had was not so bad.

“Pip is an orphan who lives with his sister and her family. In the opening pages he interacts with and chooses to assist an escaped convict with the provision of food and a file to break loose of his chains.

“Putting this experience with the lower classes behind him, Pip ends up in the company of Miss Havisham, a rich, eccentric woman, and Estella, her adopted daughter. Spending time in their company makes Pip embarrassed of his poverty and his harshness, and he becomes determined to better himself.

“A lawyer then comes to the village and tells Pip that an anonymous benefactor has decided to bestow property on Pip and turn him into a gentleman. He is whisked away to London to study with a tutor, who is a relation of Miss Havisham.

“His journey into becoming a gentleman is one which has been the foundation for many novels and movies over the years, though none are never as clear cut as simply learning about class and status and living happily every after as such. Pip’s transformation has the predicted ups and downs, with ambition and guilt weighing equally in his life, and in the actions of other characters.”

There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.

❚ “A wonderfully complex story which has poverty and hope at its core and the romantic turmoil between Pip and Estella creates perfect tension.  A must read.” – Jo

❚ “Yes Pip’s story is one of opportunity but also of appreciating what and who you have in your life whatever your status. This is a book that never leaves me and which pops into mind every so often when certain circumstances occur. Though it was written so long ago, it’s amazing how often I can see the personality traits depicted in people around me!” – Rachel

Published 1861
Chapman & Hall
544 pages

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