Can I tell you something? Last week I let you know that I’m reading David Copperfield for Christmas this year. I also said I would keep it to a chapter a day and that I’m not reading it with the Littles so we can do Jekyll and Hyde together.
Well, let me be perfectly honest with you here. One, there is no freaking way I could ever restrain myself to a chapter of Dickens a day. Two, I Really, Really wish I had elected to read this one with the boys. Their loss. For now. We Will read it together one day. Because it is, as all of Dickens’ works are, a miracle.
One of the reasons I love Dickens so much is that he always tells you this really sad, heart-rending story that seems to have no hope to it and them whammo! Hope arrives! Poor little David is Littlest’s age, so I can’t help but keep that in mind as I’ve read his (thus far) misadventures. I want to scoop this kid up, cuddle him, and show him that there are people in the world who will love him for his own sake, just because he’s him. Now, how can you argue against an author who makes you feel so strongly? How can you not think of him as your Dead Author Boyfriend? I ask you!
But it is the hope that always glimmers over the horizon that keeps your heart from breaking into a trillion tiny pieces and your eyes glued to the page. Of course, Dickens keeps it real, so the hope may dwindle or diminish and pick back up in some other way. Just like in life, you rollercoaster up and down, never knowing for sure how things will turn out in the end. But even if the characters lose something, they always gain something, too. Just like we do daily. And because it is so real, it is hard to put the story down and walk away from it. You just keep wanting to know what is going to happen Next?!
Dickens rocked storytelling. He rocked description, both of setting and emotion; he rocked dialogue–sometimes people are talking and you’re thinking, “Why the hell am I privy to this conversation?” and thirty chapters later you’re like, “Oh! I remember when they were talking about that! So that’s why…”
He rocked wisdom. Every single one of his books is full of gems that we use today as commonplace cliches. And you might not even realize it to be the case! For example:
My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.
Here is my favorite Dickens pearl so far from David Copperfield: Never… be mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you.
That is going up on my classroom wall. Wasn’t I just saying yesterday to be kind and have courage? See why Dickens is my Dead Author Boyfriend? I am totally smitten with this guy.
I’m totally smitten with this book. Listen, here is another beautiful novel to introduce your homeschoolers to Victorian England, to the plight of the poor and downtrodden, to the wonderful language of classic books. I know I’m reading it to myself this time, but I can’t recommend it enough for children of all ages. I’m seriously trying to figure out how to wind this post up right now so I can get back to reading.
I know. I’m a mess.
Never let it be said that I didn’t share my passions with you. It’s free for Kindle. You can get all this goodness For Free! But I must admit, you’re going to want to have this one on hand forever, so don’t rely on technology. Find a good paperback copy and love it well. Pick up David Copperfield. Give it to your littles. Read however many chapters a day you want to.
Leave me alone now. Sheesh! I’m reading.