Thom Swennes's Reviews > Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
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's review
Aug 27, 2012

really liked it
Read from August 21 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy

A truly appropriate last novel to the great creator of novels, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens closes his literary collected works more than admirably. Written during the years 1864-1865 this tale is again written in a form suggestive of Dickens’ early works. The largely plebian scenes literally painted on a blank canvas shows life in Victorian England as a reality show would portray it today. John Harmon, the son of a rich and influential man, is the subject to an arranged marriage to Bella Wilfer, a well to do daughter of his father’s acquaintance. John has never met Bella and is opposed to a marriage not based on love. In reaction to his predicament John flees and is later (mistakenly) thought dead. As the story progresses his parents die and, there being no living heirs, the estate passes to Nicodemus (Noddy) and Henrietta Boffin; who happen to give shelter to said Miss Wilfer. Not without much tribulation John Rokesmith (John Harmon’s assumed name) and Bella Wilfer find each other and fall in love. One of the major attractions of this, and I dare say all of Dickens’ works, is his ability to color his age in shades both familiar and unfamiliar to us. The ramose labyrinths of sub-plots add to this very unique and entertaining work.

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