An orphan since the day he was born, Oliver Twist did not receive the best hand in life. Instantly dubbed a trouble maker in the work house, Oliver leaves his apprenticeship at an undertakers and walks to London determined to make a better life for himself. On his way, he meets Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger, who introduces him to an infamous Jewish criminal named Fagin. Oliver lives with Fagin and his juvenile pickpockets until he is accused of a crime the Artful Dodger commits and put on trial. However, Mr. Brownlow, the man the crime was against, recognizes Oliver’s innocence and takes him home. Unfortunately, Oliver’s new life is interrupted when he is recaptured by Fagin’s men, leaving him longing to see the kind gentleman once more.
Going from A Christmas Carol, which was super short, I was surprised by the long length of Oliver Twist (before I remembered that Great Expectations was just as long, that is). But it wasn’t too long that I didn’t find it enjoyable. What I liked the most about Oliver Twist was how invested the reader becomes in what happens to young Oliver. Every time it seemed that something good was going for him, some nasty villain would come along and make it worse. As the book began to come to a close, I worried that Dickens would not tie up certain plots, only to be proven wrong. By the end of the book, I was satisfied with the answers to the questions that had popped up throughout, and felt as though everyone received their just deserts.
The only problem I had with this book was I had a tendency to forget who certain characters were. A character would be mentioned in the beginning and then not mentioned again until half way through the book, after many other characters were introduced, so sometimes it took me a minute to remember what role the character played in the story.