Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tale of Two Cities Update #1

(This is a part of the Tale of Two Cities  readalong that is hosted by An Armchair by the Sea!)

So I thought that getting through a third of the book in four days was going to be tough, but it was actually really quick reading and surprisingly, I'm a good 5 chapters ahead! Woot!

So far, Tale of Two Cities is pretty interesting. I adore Dicken's penchant for writing quirky characters. For example, my favorite is Madame Defarge who just sits there knitting, knitting, knitting. She's just begging to be made a pivotal plot point - but even if that doesn't happen, kudos to Dicken's for making an interesting side character.

With Dickens, what I was afraid of was long digressions. These don't happen as often as in Bleak House or Old Curiosity Shop (which, as you may remember, were my two failed attempts at Dickens), and aren't nearly as long. Though there definitely were a few lengthy descriptions, I feel as though I've read enough lengthy classic literature to at least be slightly used to them, and they did seem to move the story forward and give us a better picture of the surroundings.

It was in Book II that the action really started, though. It's five years later, and we have a situation that reminds me of Les Miserables - just a bit. A father, who was a prisoner for many years, now finally a respectable gentleman; and his daughter, the star of his life - young, beautiful, and delicate.
The first few chapters of Book II involve the trial of Charles Darnay. This was slightly confusing to me, but I got the gist of it in the end. Charles Darnay seems to be becoming Our Hero, with Lucie Manette filling the role of Heroine.  I'm willing to like Darnay, so I hope he turns out a nice Character.

I'm trying to figure out some of the connections here (though I'm sure it will all be revealed by the end of the book), and I just keep being amazed at Dicken's layers of story lines. There's the trial in England, and Darnay's secret, which is somehow connected to France and the Marquis (who was murdered by the mysterious "Jacques" - thus creating another mystery), and we don't really know Doctor Manette's backstory, which involves both France and England... I'm eagerly awaiting finding out how they are all connected.

And what's up with Jerry Cruncher? That fellow seems pretty awesome. I like his Character. :-)

Tale of Two Cities is much better that I could have hoped, and I am looking forward to reading some more!



  1. That's what I love about Dickens: his character development. His characters are often curious and intriguing, or gentle and endearing.

    I like it, too, when Dickens intertwines his story lines and connects his characters.

    1. I'm very excited because I'm going to go see a live theater version of Tale of Two Cities in January - I can't wait to see the characters come alive! :-)


    2. You are so lucky!!! I'll get to watch the movie on Youtube when I am done reading this, but that's about it.

    3. It's a long shot - but are you anywhere near the Chicago area? :-)

  2. I'm really pleased that I stumbled upon your blog! Another classics lover!

    I read A Tale of Two Cities about a year and a half ago and enjoyed it. It was my second read but the first time I was quite young and didn't remember too much of it. Someone gave me a tip to look for light and dark references; Dickens uses tons of these and I found them popping up quite often, especially in the beginning of the book. I'm looking forward to your future updates and what you think of the book at the end.

    Bleak House is upcoming for me …… I don't mind digressions but the size is daunting. A Tale of Two Cities was much more manageable.

    Happy reading!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog! :-)
      I'll keep an eye out for the light/dark references.

      Thanks for stopping by!



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