(This is a part of the Tale of Two Cities readalong that is hosted by An Armchair by the Sea!)
So I finished Book II on Thursday and decided not to read ahead this time... (I actually started on Emma, but I'm trying to not let the two books get confused in my head. So far, it's working!)
Book II was definitely more full of action than Book I, and the way this is going, it seems that Book III will be the most exciting.
What surprised me the most (and it really shouldn't have, considering the way things were going) is that no true Hero manifested himself. Darnay - whom I expected to take this position - is definitely Heroic, but there are so many deep, well-formed Characters that somehow a Main Character is really difficult to name.
As I said, I really should have realized this. Dickens creates such utterly stupendous characters that each have their own story, and Tale of Two Cities is less of one long story as is is five or six smaller ones. Really, it's more like a history than a fictional novel. (But a really interesting history.) No one Main Character is a little awkward for me, but it's not too bad. I just think of every character as a Main Character - because, really, they are all well enough developed to be.
The stuff going on in London generally seems to make more sense to me than the stuff in Paris.
My biggest questions:
1. All the Jacques confuse me. Why the heck is everyone named Jacques? Is it just a symbol for The Revolutionary? (I suppose this sort of clears up the mysterious Jacques who murdered the Marquis. It was one of the revolutionaries, I guess...)
2. Also, who is Monseigneur? Is it a real person? Or is it just a personification of the spirit of the anti-revolution monarchy?
I really feel like looking these up on Sparknotes or something - but I'm going to save that for when I finish the book. If I still don't have an answer.
I'm also interested in the echoes of footsteps that Lucie hears. It seems to be a reference to her past life - France - and the footsteps are the footsteps of mobs of revolutionaries.
My final thought at the end of Book II was: "Oh Darnay, please, don't do anything stupid. Above all, don't get yourself killed!"
Oh, and regarding my question last time ("What's up with Jerry Cruncher?"). Well, now we know! He's a "resurrection man" - digging up dead bodies (and doing something - very profitable, clearly - with them).
Until next week - and the final update!