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Saturday Spotlight: Dickens' David Copperfield

Between the obligations of school, writing, work and life in general, it's been a struggle to dig out time for leisure reading day to day, and there was a long spell in there when my good pal Davy Copperfield kind of fell to the wayside. I was enjoying it thoroughly and was wonderfully invested in Charles Dickens' endearing character, but things came up, life got busy, and so it sat. For months.


The other day I picked this book up again and continued from where I had left it. Admittedly, I'd expected a bit of a struggle to get into it, but once again Dickens blew me away with the charm, humour, and candid authenticity of his writing, and once again I'm completely enthralled by young Copperfield and his world. Though I'm not even halfway through, I couldn't resist a spotlight post to sing the praises of the book one Virginia Woolf called, "The most perfect of all the Dickens novels".


"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." ~Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

It's a heartstring-tugger pretty much from the start. Little David Copperfield narrates the story of his own birth, his happy childhood with a loving mother, and the sharp turn his life takes with the introduction of a new stepfather. From what I've read so far, it's impossible not to love this kid. He's innocent, sweet, helpless, sensitive and intuitive as a young boy, and it breaks your heart to see him suffer as all Dickens' characters do. I look forward to seeing the type of man he grows up to be as the story progresses.


Dickens has a way of grabbing my emotions and wrapping them up in his story. I ache for little David in his unfair sufferings, I rejoice with every little victory, and I breathe a sigh of relief every time some miraculous blessing breaks up a string of misfortunes. It's an emotional roller-coaster for both Davy and me- and that's only the first two hundred pages.


Even in the first quarter of the book, there's no shortage of interesting characters, from tyrannical Mr. Murdstone, smooth-talking Steerforth, coy Little Em'ly and mumbling Mr. Barkis to Miss Betsey Trotwood (with her potent aversion to donkeys), doting Peggotty, gentle-hearted Doctor Strong and red-eyed, clammy-handed Uriah Heep. I'm expecting many more to come and I can't wait to meet them, with all of their Dickens-ish quirks!


So here's to the next five hundred ninety pages. Knowing Dickens, there's no telling what's to come!



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