June Book Reviews: A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. . . (7)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Even more than with Great Expectations, I don’t really feel qualified to write this review.  But I’ll do my best.

Expressive signs of what made them poor, were not wanting; the tax for the state, the tax for the church, the tax for the lord, tax local and tax general, were to be paid here and to be paid there, according to solemn inscription in the little village, until the wonder was, that there was any village left unswallowed. (117)

(Be prepared for lots of quotes!)

A Tale of Two Cities is not as funny as Great Expectations, but books don’t have to be funny to be good and it still made me smile at times! 🙂

. . . and the owl made a noise with very little resemblance in it to the noise conventionally assigned to the owl by men-poets.  But it is the obstinate custom of such creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them. (130)

Charles Dickens is incredibly good at making realistic characters!  Their habits, mannerisms, personalities, etc.  It’s truly amazing.  I noticed that here more than Great Expectations.

‘Bring your chair here, and speak on.’  He complied with the chair, but appeared to find the speaking less easy. (135)

There is also a bit of romance, but it’s handled well.

The main themes are redemption and sacrifice.  On the back of my book it said:

Here, too, are all of Dickens’s recurring themes–imprisonment, injustice, and cataclysmic violence, resurrection and the renunciation that makes renewal possible.

It takes place during the French Revolution, and it is rather violent.

Every living creature there held life as of no account, and was demented with a passionate readiness to sacrifice it. (217)

Do you mind that this is mostly quotes?  I hope not.

I’m not sure how to tackle the story-line.  It’s pretty straightforward, but hard to relate without giving anything away!  I couldn’t say who the main character was, either.  And there are a lot of characters!  The two cities are Paris and London.  All of the main (good) characters live in London, but a lot of the book takes place in France.

And one of the characters was named Lucie! #LoveAtFirstSight

Troubled as the future was, it was the unknown future, and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope. (259)

Do you feel like I’m. . . going in circles?

The best books are the hardest to explain!  Just go read it.  It’s awesome.  Emotional though.  I found the sixth book that made me cry.  (Yes, I’m counting. 🙂 )

‘But try!  Of little worth as life is when we misuse it, it is worth that effort.  It would cost nothing to lay down if it were not.’ (340)

8 thoughts on “June Book Reviews: A Tale of Two Cities”

  1. Great book review, Hanna! I’ve never read this book before, but it sounds good!
    By the way, when you do book reviews, do you plan out which books you’ll be reviewing that month? ~Savannah

    1. Actually, no. I usually wake up Thursday morning and go “Oh, I’ve got to write a book review. What in the world am I going to write on?” Though at the moment there are books I read for history stacking up. When I get those done, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I thinking about not doing book reviews while I post “The Sacrifice” so I can post on Thursdays too. I definitely want to post more than once a week.

      1. I SO can’t wait until you start posting ‘The Sacrifice’! Something tells me that story is going to be really good 🙂 . I’m so excited to read it! Do you have any ideas as to when you will start posting that story? ~Savannah

          1. I had writer’s block for nearly a week when I was writing part of my serial. Writer’s block is definitely a dreaded thing when you’re writing 🙂 . Hope you get through it soon! ~Savannah

    1. Yes, pretty much. It’s when you stop getting inspiration. When you don’t know what to write. When writing gets boring all of a sudden. Is this making sense?

      1. Made sense to me 😀 . But then again, I already knew what it was, so … anyways. I sometimes try to write right through my writer’s block. But then my writing sometimes ends up just sounding blah, so then I have to go back and re-write it 🙂 ~Savannah

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