I read this book in the Filipino version. Now, I would really love to have the opportunity to read it in Spanish. Could someone be kind enough to give me an e-copy of the original? Thanks!
"Awful" does not even begin to describe the atrocity of this pathetically revered novel. "Dreadful" is getting there, but the only word I've ever come across that comes close to encompassing the book's many shortcomings is "ABOMINABLE". In all caps, yes.
Boring and uneventful, this steaming pile of excrement teaches no lesson that a ten-year-old with a decent upbringing could teach you; money does not a happy man make. Why Dickens needed 399 pages of fictitious drivel to articulate this message is beyond me. Terribly sorry, everyone, but this book is NOT deep. There is no extraordinary philospohical meaning to it. Noting we haven't all heard before.
However, the way this novel is worshipped among literary communities is almost as lamentable as the novel's complete lack of substance. Just by reading this site's reviews you can see that readers honestly believe that liking this book puts them in some sort of authority position, but I am under the belief it simply means they are easily amused, and perhaps are not nearly as selective as they should be. Truthfully, I believe that something is seriously wrong with someone if they are actually captivated with this uninteresting "classic".
This little book was published by or for the manufacturers of the famous old-time "female tonic," Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound. The booklet has plain-cooking type recipes, interspersed among a lot of "testimonial" letters. You laugh at the cheery language in those letters when you realize in the early years at least, the medicine contained alcohol (not sure how much, maybe 20%? at one point. I'm sure it was just to "preserve the other ingredients."). Last time I saw it in a drug store, about 20 years ago, it said on the box NO ALCOHOL in about 4 places. An interesting glance at days gone by.
Heartwarming in a low key way. Patricia is a young girl of her time who wants to take care of people--find a home for a stray dog, run an errand for an elderly neighbor, stop and play with a baby she meets on her walk to school. These interests bring her into conflict with her Aunt Julia's rules, but Patricia complies as best she can. Her doctor father is secretly amused at how she manages it, and both Aunt Julia and her father learn that she breaks rules because of her compassion for others' needs and losses. She seems to mature a bit over the course of the book (though stays pre-teen, I think). It's more like a series of short stories. Warm, loving-family sort of stories. Written in 1910, so be prepared for stereotyping in the character of the maid.