Bleak House Readalong: Chapters 8-13

This is Week 2 of the Bleak House Readalong. I’m slightly ahead of the readalong schedule this week, but will keep this post restricted to chapters 8-13.

*If you haven’t read the book yet, you might encounter some spoilers.*

13 chapters into the book now and it still feels that not much has actually happened yet; Dickens is still bringing in new characters and new storylines. I’m enjoying the chapters narrated by Esther the most as I’m finding the other chapters a bit harder to follow.

In this week’s installments, Esther receives a marriage proposal, Richard tries to choose a profession, and a law-copier called Nemo is found dead from a suspected opium overdose. We meet Mrs Pardiggle who, like Mrs Jellyby, is supposed to be a ‘philanthropist’, but whereas Mrs Jellyby neglects her children, Mrs Pardiggle brings her five sons with her everywhere she goes and forces them to invest in charities that they are too young to know anything about.

We also meet a drunken brickmaker and his wife Jenny, who has a black eye and is nursing a sick baby. Other new characters include Mr Boythorn, an old friend of Mr Jarndyce’s who visits Bleak House, a ‘law-stationer’ called Mr Snagsby, and Jo, a homeless crossing-sweeper.

It will be interesting to see how Dickens is going to weave all these storylines and characters together. A lot of things don’t make much sense at the moment, but I’m hoping that everything will start to become clearer soon. I’m enjoying the book more than I was last week, though – and Esther isn’t annoying me as much now.

For more opinions on this week’s installments, see the list of participants at The Zen Leaf.

4 thoughts on “Bleak House Readalong: Chapters 8-13

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m ahead too, about halfway through Week 4’s reading. There are STILL many plotlines being brought in and fleshed out. I’m really hoping they all tie up together in the end. I suspect they will, but I’d like Dickens to GET ON WITH IT soon. 😀

    • Helen says:

      You’re further ahead than I am, but it seems there’s no end to the number of characters and storylines in this book! I’m sure they’ll all have to start coming together soon!

  2. Bookworm1858 says:

    I’m also finding Esther less annoying and I’m super excited to see how Dickens ties things together (I have some ideas but I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers and I’ve haven’t seen the miniseries yet).

    I think you did a great job summarizing the chapters we read; I kept getting off track when I try.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks – it’s not an easy book to summarize. There are so many characters and at the moment there’s no way of knowing how important each one is going to be.

Please leave a comment. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.