I’ve always enjoyed Charles Dickens’ writing, and ever since I watched the show Dickensian a few years ago, Bleak House has been on my list to read. It was one of the few character sets and plots in the show I didn’t recognize.
Bleak House follows the story of several young people, Esther, Ada, and Richard, wards of John Jarndyce. Ada and Richard, cousins, have a stake in the never-ending suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which quickly draws Richard in with its promise of fortune. Meanwhile, Esther discovers the truth about her past and the family she never knew. When a well-known solicitor is murdered, everything comes to light in the hunt for the murderer.
Filled with various subplots, colorful characters, love and mystery, Bleak House is a Dickens masterpiece, even if it can occasionally be tricky to follow along. It’s a mixture of love story and intrigue, with Ada and Richard quickly falling in love, and several of the lawyers/solicitors digging into the secrets of Lady Deadlock and Esther.
Bleak House has a lot going on, not surprising since it’s 800 pages long. But it’s worth the read, even if it takes a while to get through.