Fictional Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

As a freshman in high school, we all had to read those books that we hated. For me, one of those novels was the classic A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Maybe it was because I just didn’t want to read a long novel for class, or maybe it was just because I didn’t have the vocabulary or knowledge base to understand it at the time, but I remember how I didn’t really like it.  As I’ve become older, however, I did revisit the novel last year, and now it’s actually one of my favorite stories.  I think another part of it was because I was choosing to read it this time, I was able to enjoy it more, rather than being confined to it in a class setting.

If you have never heard of this novel, seriously go read it.  The novel jumps between several protagonists in London and France leading up to and during the French Revolution.  For some reason, I really like Madame Defarge.  She just seems like a powerful take-no-prisoners type of lady, and I really like the part she plays in the novel.  I also do like Lucie Manette; she’s very prim and proper, but she’s also very sweet and down-to-earth at the same time.  I feel like most of the young girls would look up to her as a model for how to grow up.  Similarly, it seems like her husband Charles Darnay would be someone that men would strive to become.  I think I actually like Sydney Carton more though, just because of his dedication and his personality.

While I may not have liked the book while I was in high school, the ending always stuck out to me as probably one of the greatest things I’d ever read.  When I reread the book, I was not disappointed; if anything, I loved it even more.  Seriously, if you don’t know what happens, go and read this book!

I would recommend this book for anyone that likes history, dark comedy, romance, battles, and just amazing writing.  Until next time, happy reading!

-Lauren Pirc, Assistant Blog Editor

2 thoughts on “Fictional Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

  1. Paula Cappa April 13, 2013 / 8:33 am

    Dickens is a fantastic author and I think you’re right that most of us didn’t appreciate him in our school years. Maybe it requires a more mature reading mind to absorb his work and his style of writing. I came across one of his short stories, Captain Murderer. An exciting short read (it would qualify as flash fiction today), Dickens can write true horror in a very slick way. When I featured this short story on my blog in January, it got lots of hits, which surprised me because I didn’t think Dickens was popular these days. Glad you posted this; I may want to reread Tale of Two Cities.

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