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Brother Jacob is the story of a confectioners apprentice who steals from his mother to emigrate to Jamaica and make his fortune. It is a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading.
David Copperfield is a marvellous showcase for Dickens' writing brilliance. In it, the title character David Copperfield relates the story of his life, growing up in a world that has kinder moments but which too often can be so cruel. As usual, Dickens has created a cast of interesting characters who at times add comic moments to the story and almost always present Copperfield with many a life lesson. In part autobiographical, this story has been described by Dickens himself as his "favourite son". A must read.
Good and evil. Everybody has both these aspects within them thinks Dr. Jekyll who sets about creating a potion that turns him increasingly into evil. Adopting the evil persona of Edward Hyde, he indulges in a double life until it finally takes its toll ... Robert Louis Stevenson horrifies through the ages. Great reading.
The temptations of illicit passion are a theme in Ethan Frome. Wharton had been advised to take up writing more seriously to relieve her stress and tension, and many point to the possibility of autobiographical elements in the novel. Wharton delivers austere and penetrating impressions of rural working-class New England as the environment to explore Ethan Frome's marriage to an unsympathetic Zeena and the infatuation he develops for their maid.
Who is going to marry Eugenie Grandet? Enter one cousin Charles, recently orphaned and penniless. Set in provincial France in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Eugenie Grandet is a tale of a father's financial cunning and miserliness pitched against a daughter's determination to rebel.
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