Great Expectations is essentially a coming of age novel. It tells the story of Pip and the “great expectations” that are placed upon him, as he transforms from being a poor orphan to a wealthy gentleman when he acquires a great sum of money from an anonymous benefactor.
I read the first chapter of Great Expectations about three years ago for one of my English lessons, and I did enjoy it, but I didn’t continue with the rest of the book. But then I watched the BBC series Dickensian (which you can buy here) earlier this year, which merged together a load of Dickens’ characters, and I really enjoyed the series. I particularly enjoyed the story line involving Compeyson and Miss Havisham, which I knew where characters from Great Expectations, so I ordered myself a copy of the book.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I really enjoyed it! It has some brilliant characters, my favourite being Miss Havisham, and Dickens explores some really interesting themes, including class, self-improvement and morality.
I won’t lie and say that this was a particularly easy read though. It’s a dense book, and it took me around ten days/two weeks to read. I’d still recommend it to anyone who’s thinking of reading Dickens who maybe doesn’t know where to start, I’d just say to take your time with it.
Have you read Great Expectations? What did you think? If not, have you read any other novels by Dickens that you really enjoyed? Let me know in the comments 🙂