Classics Challenge - The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

I finished it! Y'all, this book took me forever. And while it is my Very Long Classic pick for the Back to the Classics Challenge, I didn't expect that. It's not a difficult read in terms of reading level. It was difficult for me to maintain any motivation to pick it up. I know I'm not the only one reading this specifically because it is one of the books mentioned in Karen Swallow Prior's On Reading Well and that makes me sad. Perhaps once I've read On Reading Well myself* I'll feel differently but while I can't say this book is awful, I am sad that what I'm assuming is a lot of people-reading hours will be wasted this year on this book when there are so many other delightful classics in the world wanting to be read. Craig actively rooted for me to give up at one point. Not because he has anything against it. He's never read it or I'm sure he would have warned me away but he kept hearing me huff and puff about it. But when you've read 75% of a very long classic, its hard to abandon your efforts. And because part of me was curious as to what was going to happen. Just call me Joe.

This novel, not surprisingly given the title, follows young Tom Jones from his being found as an abandoned infant, through his childhood and into young adulthood. But most of it the story focuses on his beginning and then a short period of time when he falls in love and stuff begins to happen. To be honest, the latter part felt like I was in a weird mix-up of a period piece and a scooby doo montage with people running here and there and opening doors and "who is going to be in this room" moments. That part I could have done without.

Overall, it's not awful. The narrator, who has a very definite voice in this piece, is quite amusing at times. And the writing itself is fine. But I struggled with how much of it is supposed to be satire. I know its a lot but surely I'm supposed to be rooting for someone in this story, right? I do like satire - hello - my girls' middle names Elinor and Jane. That's some Jane Austen love right there! But Austen's version of satire still has some heart it in and characters you love and find endearing. I don't thinnk I'd want to read a book with every character reminding you of either Lydia or Mrs. Bennett either. You need a Lizzie! And maybe I was supposed to see some of our characters that way but I struggled to do so. But I did finish.  And I'm much more excited about my next few reads!

*once I've finished all of her reads, it's a committment that is now making me nervous