What if your love story didn't have a happy ending? What if you were the girl Romeo loved -before hRead Review
A Tale of Two Cities
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.
A Tale of Two Cities Review
I began to read A Tale of Two Cities with high hopes, I was a little eager to read something that one of the literary geniuses of the Nineteenth Century had written, and I must say I was not disappointed. The books pace was infuriating at the opening; drawn out passages about a coach ride, and The Mail chapter were particularly aggravating, they both required vast amounts of energy to finish. However, I’m glad that I did thrust myself through the first few pages, as underneath, there was a remarkable story.
Several of the characters had fascinated me, such as Dr. Manette, who is imprisoned in the beginning, his insanity at the start was quite a mystery, and was quite fun to contemplate. On the other side of the spectrum, I was slightly dissatisfied with Lucie Manette; even though she was loved by everyone, for her looks and charm, I never really felt a connection with her character, there really wasn’t much depth with her. Madame Defarge was the absolute opposite of Lucie, she was cold and consumed by hate and revenge, however she was interesting, and I found her character to be intriguing. Other important aspects of the book include the French Revolution, which Dickens portrays accurately; the plight of the peasants of France is also harshly depicted, such as when they are seen licking wine from the dirt when a casket breaks in the street.
Sidney Carton, a drunkard, is portrayed as a fairly hopeless man for the first part of the book; midway through however, he transforms into a man of great distinction. (SPOILER!) He professes his love for Lucie Manette, exclaiming “For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. And when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you.” And eventually he does fulfill what he had said, sacrificing himself for Lucie, and being executed in place of Charles Darnay, her true love. His death was quite moving, and I definitely grew to admire his character.
As for Dicken’s style of writing, he is obtuse at times, and subtleness is definitely not an aspect of this book. It does take a while to adjust to his writings, in the beginning I certainly found it difficult. But after some time, one does adjust to it, and soon you begin to enjoy his writing. Overall, I would rate this book a 4.0 out of 5, it is gripping near the end, but for the most part, it is vaguely interesting, and at times even boring, never the less, it was a great read!