Blathering on about Bleak House, Fin.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Final Thoughts & Post Index

I am sooo glad I decided to join the readalong! My experience with Dickens has been a mixed one—I enjoyed part of Great Expectations but had been unable to connect with any of the other books I had tried to read. I’m not sure if this was as a result of Dickens’ style or his characters, but I was very surprised to find myself so engrossed by Bleak House so soon after starting the book. I really thought it would be a sort of personal challenge to read it to the end—will and determination to finally read it, rather than pleasure. But it was a pleasure!

I know that some readers find Esther terribly boring, but I really enjoyed her narrative and found myself looking forward to her chapters. There were so many side stories and characters in this novel that it was hard for me to keep track of them in the beginning, but Esther’s account brought them into focus for me. She is not so strong-willed as Jane Eyre, as I have previously noted in my “Blatherings,” but she is a strong character nonetheless, and stands out as an enterprising woman in her desire to prove herself useful and worthy of her companions and good fortune.

Because I was still wondering about Esther’s illness, I did some research based on the symptoms, and it likely was smallpox that she contracted… I suspected as much based on the prevalence of the disease during the time, but I had never considered the implications of having smallpox on one’s appearance. It’s terrible what it could do to you, the images I found are horribly graphic and reveal that the pox rash often spread on the face and extremities, making it near impossible to hide the subsequent scarring. I can now understand why Esther takes so much note of her lost beauty—I just thought she looked worn after her illness.

So, enough blathering. Mission accomplished and all that.

Post Index

Part 1 – Chapters 1 – 7
Part 2 – Chapters 8 – 13
Part 3 – Chapters 14 – 19
Part 4 – Chapters 20 – 25
Part 5 – Chapters 26 – 32
Part 6 – Chapters 33 – 38
Part 7 – Chapters 39 – 46
Part 8 – Chapters 47 – 53
Part 9 – Chapters 54 – 59
Part 10 – Chapters 60 – 67

The Bleak House Read-Along was hosted by Amanda at The Zen Leaf.

2 thoughts on “Blathering on about Bleak House, Fin.

    • That’s one of the problems I have with books narrated by different characters… once I relate to one, the others seem to fall flat.

      I’m glad you started this whole event! I had that copy sitting on my shelf for the last 3 years 🙂

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