By Rhea

A Tale fo Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is set in both England and France.  Conditions in France are horrible.  The rich love life while the poor barely survive.  A revolution is brewing, quietly but quickly.  Mr. Lorry is a banker at Tellson’s, a bank which has branches in both countries.  Lucie Manette is an orphan, a ward of the bank.  The two meet so that Mr. Lorry can tell Lucie that her father, who she believed to be dead, is still alive.  Together, they go to a man named Defarge’s wine shop.  This man used to work for Lucie’s father, Dr. Manette, and now houses Dr. Manette for “safe keeping.”  Dr.  Manette must be kept safe because, after 18 years in prison, he has finally been released.  However, his mental state is horrible and he has no recollection of who he is or what happened to him.  Together, Dr. Manette, Mr. Lorry, and Lucie return to England and try to bring Dr. Manette back to his original state.  While this may not seem like much, these actions lead to these characters and many others to become intertwined with the French revolution.  There is great happiness, but immense loss.

A Tale of Two Cities is surprisingly a very good book.  The summary above is only about the first part of the book.  The actual story is has many different characters and plots that all come together at the end, and it is much too hard to summarize.  In Farmington, all students must read this book as Freshmen.  Most people who read this hate it in the beginning.  Nothing really happens in the beginning, and it is very hard to read and understand.  However, as the book continues, the plot progresses and gets much more interesting.  Towards the end everything starts to come together.  The end is actually very interesting and impossible to put down.  I would recommend that everyone read this book, but one must be a very advanced reader in order to understand it.  The language is very different and difficult to understand.  Also, there are many literary devices which are very confusing.  If your are up to the challenge, read this book!  (If not, you will have to read it anyway in ninth grade.)

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