Well golly gee that was a long book!
I've wanted to read it for such a long time, and I'm glad I did, but... phew! hard work.
The case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce is the crux of the novel, and basically Dickens uses this fictional case to satirise the English judicial system. There is a lot of historical facts and interesting tid bits about this book and what happened as he wrote it (it was released as a serial over about 18 months). Told in alternating POVs by Esther who is a young naive orphan and an unnamed cynical 3rd party narrator, there is a lot to take in. Tons of characters, several story lines, crazy Victorian humour (apparently they loved that Dickens would kill of a child character in the part released at Christmas time), and naturally, Dickens' own brand of depression and misery.
I'm glad to have finally read it, but I'm not sure it is something I would recommend to others, unless like me, they are intrigued from a historical viewpoint.
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