Saturday, February 08, 2014

{Whatcha Reading?} Havisham

I've never liked Great Expectations. I slogged through it for a literature class my freshman year of high school, but the only thing that stuck in my memory was Miss Havisham and her decaying wedding feast.

When I saw Havisham, I was intrigued. A chance to revisit the madwoman in the ancient wedding dress without actually reading Dickens?

Here's the book's Amazon description:

Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall—HAVISHAM—a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.

Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything—her heart, her future, the very Havisham name—is vulnerable.

In Havisham, Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.

After reading this book, I'm almost tempted to give Great Expectations another try one of these days.


Laura said...

I listened to 'Great Expectations' for the first time a couple of years ago, and I liked it. I thought Miss Havisham was wonderfully twisted old woman. Dickens came up with some great characters in his books, and I like the way all the pieces converge in the end. I did have a hard time getting through 'Bleak House', though.

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