Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
When I was in 9th grade, my English class was assigned to read Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. I opened the book and was immediately put off by the bleak setting and rough characters. Each night I’d sit at the kitchen table and plow through the assigned pages, groaning audibly as things went from bad
to worse for young Pip. Somewhere between Pip’s theft of his sister’s pies, and his torturous visits with Miss Havisham and Estella, I lost my bearings. At fifteen, I was nowhere near ready to comprehend the endless list of characters, or the complex plot changes. Needless to say, I did not do well on the unit’s exam.
Years later though, having gained experience and a small amount of wisdom, I had the pleasure of revisiting the book and enjoyed it immensely. Once I was able to keep the characters straight, I was able to appreciate them, and consider them to be some of the best ever created.