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Charles Dickens is a master story-teller. Historians have classified this as his "least Dickensian" novel, and I think anyone who is familiar with his work would agree. There are very few light-hearted moments, and his symbolism comes across as rather heavy-handed. Still, he had reasons for all of this, and I think that this book should be evaluated in its own right, rather than in comparison to his other works.Dickens presents a world gone mad. There is no justice for the poor. They are abused and ill-treated by the aristocracy. When they finally have their revenge, they are like wild animals, and are completely consumed with their lust for blood.In the midst of all this is a family that just wants to survive, and a man who is secretly in love. He pledges that he would do anything to see his love happy, and in the end, keeps his promise.This is a beautiful story about the power of love, redemption, and the human spirit. Every word and every action has meaning. This is not a novel to be rushed; it is one to be savored and cherished.