After having quite enjoyed Charles Dicken's "Great Expectations", I thought I would venture back into the classics and try another Dickens novel. As I usually do, I read a few reviews on the Kindle site and decided, after reading the same thing in several reviews, that I would endure the ramblings at the beginning of the story and wait for the rewards at the end.
It was a bit of a tough haul. It did not help that I was scattered with my reading lately, and could not read it in one continuous stream. I often forgot who the characters were and where they fit into the story. The story itself is disjointed and one often does not know if one is in Paris or in London. The language is stilted and many of the expressions and words are obscure, making the meanings difficult to grasp.
A mystery unfolds as a doctor is rescued from his prison in France. He is brought to London by his rescuer, his daughter and her banker friend, where they help to exonerate an accused spy who they met on the journey back to England, who later marries the daughter.
Much later in the story, the daughter's husband, of his own free will, ventures into revolutionary France on a mercy mission, where he is arrested and faces the guillotine. A man who wanted to marry the daughter before the spy proposed, cooks up a scheme whereby the spy would be able to escape, but at great price.
When everything finally comes together in the last 100 pages of the book, it is interesting and rewarding reading, but the journey to get to that point was not easy. I began to realise that every image and cliché I have ever conceived of, regarding the French Revolution, came from the pages of this book.
Who am I to say that a classic such as this is not well written? I did not care for it, but that is one man's humble opinion.