The illustration above is a rendition of Gaffer Hexam, a river scavenger, and his daughter Lizzie, as they scour the Thames for anything of value floating on its murky surface. They do find a body, and thus opens Charles Dickens' final novel of his long and illustrious career.
The story gets very involved with each of the many characters, and as in his other novels, the connections between the characters does not come to light immediately, but one has to be patient, and it all does come together in the end.
There is love, hatred, murder, altruism, loyalty, good hearts, and hearts full of greed and mercenary ambitions. In other words it is a cross section of everyday life and the people that make up any city or community, large or small.
I have now read at least half of Dickens' works and I appreciate his skills as a writer and a social commentator. As I pick up another book, no matter the genre or the author, it is lightweight in comparison, and I seem to want to get back to Dickens for some 'meat'. He is a classic writer for good reason. There is nothing quite like a Dickens novel.
4 1/2 stars