Breathtakingly, heartbreakingly gorgeous story of redemption and pure love set against the terrifying backdrop of the French Revolution. Dickens does a beautiful job of describing how the cruelty of the aristocracy set the stage for the peasants to revolt, while never condoning the bloodshed. The book opens and closes with two of the most famous lines from literature. One has to read the book to fully appreciate the poignancy and majesty of the last line: “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.” It took me about two months to get through it, as it is full of long descriptive passages that are hard for me to digest. But I am so glad I stuck it out, because by the end I was completely immersed in the story. This book takes it’s place with Les Miserables and To Kill a Mockingbird as one of my all-time favorites.
This book is number 5 in my 12 classics goal (I think, I’m having a hard time deciding what is considered a classic) and took me to France and England in my armchair traveler journey. It is also one more off the BBC 100 list, bringing my total read up to 36 from 32 at the beginning of the year.