By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 1, 2006 2:36PM
We have a distinct memory of sitting on the el, quietly reading "Great Expectations" and being completely lost in it. We had given ourselves over to the story of orphaned Pip, the beautiful Estella, and crazy Miss Havisham. We loved Pip's belief in his great expectations.We revelled in the beauty of his unrequited love for Estella. We marvelled at the complexity of plot, but the ease in which it was told.
And on the el, we read the following lines where Pip tells a dying Magwitch about his long-lost daughter Estella, and we wept ... openly, not caring who noticed:
"Dear Magwitch, I must tell you, now at last. You understand what I say?"
A gentle pressure on my hand.
"You had a child once, whom you loved and lost."
A stronger pressure on my hand.
"She lived and found powerful friends. She is living now. She is a lady and very beautiful. And I love her!"
Poor Pip, it makes us cry even now; how he loved her, how he believed his life was on a different path, how bittersweet life can be when one finds out the truth.
For this month's Convince Us, recommend (in the comments section) the book that held the most beauty for you, the book you read over and over, in short, the book that made you cry on the el. This time around, the book does not have to be a "Chicago" book, whichever book you choose is perfect.
We'll read it and review at the end of September.
That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.