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Upon finishing Dombey and Son this morning, I thought back to the first Dickens work I ever read, which was David Copperfield, as a freshman in high school. Since then I have read many others, all with the same extensive cast of characters, side plots, etc.....

Except this one....which makes me question why it is not used as an introduction to the works of Dickens in school curriculums.

Dombey and Son, as a title, refers to the business which provides wealth, title, and position to Mr. Dombey, the aforementioned father. The son refers to a succession of partners in that business, as well as an arrival at the opening of the book, which leads to the demise of Mrs. Dombey. But little Paul Dombey, sharing in his fathers first and last names, joins an already present sibling in the world, his sister Florence.

Through the course of the novel, you realize that Dombey and Daughter are really the focus of this story....the fortunes and misfortunes that befall them both, the grievous neglect of one for the other, despite the efforts of the one neglected to reconcile...and a host of others that enter and exit from their lives.

But to recapture and jusitfy my initial point, this book is a marvelous starting point to read Dickens. It is far easier to keep track of the cast of the story, as it is more limited than other Dickens novels, while sharing the same length as most others. The story lines all really do feed into the central plot, and while the comedy that I so enjoy in Dickenss prose is, admittedly, more limited still is a highly enjoyable tale, and a great place to get your feet wet with one of historys best tale-weavers.

Although bittersweet and melancholy in tone, for the majority of the story, Dombey and Son holds up with Dickenss other novels as a true classic.

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