Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Old Curiosity Shop: The Middle

I'm a little behind on this week's post for Amanda's Charles Dickens Month, although I have been enjoying The Old Curiosity Shop. Hopefully I will manage to finish it up before the final post on Tuesday. Warning - this post has spoilerish things in it from the first half of the book.

At this point, Nell and her grandfather have fled London and the evil dwarf Quilp. It amazes me that they just leave with little money and have to rely on finding odd jobs and the kindness of strangers along the way. I can't really imagine doing that now. It just seems so dangerous.

Along their journey, the meet a plethora of unusual characters. They join fellow travelers putting on a Punch and Judy show and later join a traveling wax works show. It's hard to know who to trust and if they'll be safe. However, Nell soon learns she can't even trust her own grandfather.

It broke my heart when Nell caught her grandfather stealing from her and gambling the money away. He's no better than her brother Fred. This is a reminder that the enemy of your enemy isn't necessarily your friend. Just because he sees that Fred is bad doesn't mean that he's good. It also shows the destruction that a gambling habit can cause. I want to reach in the book and throttle gramps. Ugh. How can he do that to poor little Nell?

Despite this, I'm still really enjoying the story and like that I don't quite know where the story is going. Hopefully I can finish it up this weekend, so back to reading for me!

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