Monday, 11 March 2013

''Bleak House''- Book Review

Author: Charles Dickens
Published: 1853
Genres: Novel, Victorian novel, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5


I really liked Charles Dickens's ''Bleak House''. The subject matter is grim, yet the novel is lively with lively characters and bits of humor here and there. The sudden humor in this dark novel can be so surprising. It is not as powerfully intense as Dickens's ''Oliver Twist'' or ''David Copperfield'', two books I simply love, yet it is enjoyable, moving, and good.

The main storyline of ''Bleak House'' is about Esther Summerson, an ''orphaned'' girl with a mysterious background. She had lived with her aunt as a child. Her aunt, before her death, requested John Jarndyce to take care of her. Esther, now a beautiful young woman, now moves to Bleak House, a residence of Mr Jarndyce, with two cousins of Mr Jarndyce, Richard Carston and Ada Clare.

Lady Dedlock is the wife of Sir Leicester Deadlock, Baronet. After years, she comes to know that a man of her past, a man related to many intense secrets of her life, might have come back to her life. The man is Captain Hawdon. The secret is related to Esther Summerson, and it such a secret that might ruin Lady Deadlock...

I initially thought that this novel would center around a legal court case, named Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The case is about the fate of an inheritance of the Jarndyce family. I understood very little what this case was about, so I was worried that the novel might become confusing to me. Yet, though this case, and the people related to it, play major roles in the book, the main story centers around the story of Lady Dedlock and Esther Summerson. 

There are so many characters, so many incidences in this novel. All are somehow memorable. Richard Carstone, a naive man who ruins his with the hope of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Mr John Jarndyce, who detests Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Hortense, the vicious French maidservant. Mr Tulkinghorn, the unpleasant lawyer.  Allan Woodcourt, a likeable doctor. And so many, so many more memorable characters.

But however, that doesn't mean that this novel is very perfect. It has some faults as well. Many parts were confusing, for example, the case Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which plays a very important role in the novel. The part were Lady Deadlock runs away; a little complicated part.

Nevertheless, it was a pleasant read, and a memorable book, and I guess I will read it someday again.

4 out of 5

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