Saturday, January 14, 2012

When the dearest ones are not so dear to us

„Dombey and Son” is probably the least known of 14 novels written and completed by Charles Dickens. It's also regarded as his most sentimental work. Like in his other books, the world described here is painted in many shades and the characters are very vividly drawn. Fortunes of the main characters are the background for accurate observations one the then England.

Mr. Dombey is a man who is obsessed with his company. His son is from the very birth destined to become his successor. Dombey has also a daughter but he doesn't care for her, and her love toward a father doesn't meet up with a bit of reciprocity. This lack of interest doesn't impede the father from sending to Barbados Walter Gay who accidentally meets Florence and falls in love with her.
Dombey's life is marked with death, first of his wife, and then of the beloved son... Even his second marriage doesn't change anything in his rough character. All seems to be returning back to normal, but it's not his fate to lead a peaceful life, until...

I won't write anything more not to reveal the story. It takes quite a long time, the book has almost 800 pages – as in most of Dickens's works. However, it's impossible to get bored when reading it. One unexpected event is chasing another. Characters that we meet as the story evolves are extremely well tailored and each of them has its role to play. Remarks and criticism of the middle class is given in a very subtle way, often with an acerbic humor.

This is a book that makes us think how far we can be for our beloved ones. It also shows how little is needed to change this state of affairs. Little doesn't mean that a change comes quickly and easily. Sometimes it's caused by dramatic, or even tragic events...

Author: Charles Dickens
Title: Dombey And Son
Series: Wordsworth Classics
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions, Wielka Brytania, 1995
Pages: 770

Other novels by Dickens on my shelf (all in English):
A Tale Of Two Cities
Bleak House
David Copperfield
Dombey and Son
Great Expectations
Little Dorrit
Martin Chuzzlewit
Nicholas Nickleby
Oliver Twist
Our Mutual Friend
The Mystery of Edwid Drood
The Old Curiosity Shop
The Pickwick Papers
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