Considered by critics to be among Dickens' best-constructed stories, GREAT EXPECTATIONS deals with a major theme of the Victorian social novel: the hero's movement upward through the class structure. Pip, an orphan, helps an escaped prisoner hiding in a marsh. Miss Havisham, an eccentric recluse, is deserted on her wedding day. From these two events, Dickens weaves an unusual story of gratitude set on by vindictiveness.
An absorbing mystery as well as a morality tale, the story of Pip, a poor village lad, and his expectations of wealth is Dickens at his most deliciously readable. The cast of characters includes kindly Joe Gargery, the loyal convict Abel Magwitch and the haunting Miss Havisham. If you have heartstrings, count on them being tugged.