My boyfriend found this book in a youth hostel shop in Sweden. Being the only book in English he decided to get it. Alone in the Swedish wilderness for 1 month he finished the book in 1 week and later passed it on to me to read. After his strong recommendations and me also having no other book in English to read, I read it.
This is a difficult review for me to write because I am not quite sure how I feel about the book. One minute I am agree with one of the characters and the next I am criticising them and seeing their selfishness. Ole and I had a “heated discussion” about our conflicting interpretations.
Sister Carrie hops on a train to Chicago to stay with her sister. Leaving a small town with big dreams she hopes to make her own way in the huge city and live like she always dreamed. On the train she meets a young man that will unknowingly send her life off her dreamed path, sending her life out of control and ultimately to her destiny. That’s the basic storyline however it is filled with unusual events and unpredicatble characters that left me feeling unsettled. One minute I liked Carrie and thought her sweet, innocent and very naive. Then the character of Hurstwood enters the scene and with him my opinons of Carrie take a more negative turn. In the end, in my opinion I found her to be a little cold hearted, selfish and not very likeable. Others I am sure will disagree.
Set in the late 19th Centuary this story provides and interesting snapshot of life back then. The begining of Chicago and its rise to a major city of the West. Also the glittering glamour of New York. It also shows the struggles of poverty hidden amongst the boom and the human side behind it. This book is considered an American classic and although I am unsure as to my feelings with this story I can understand its significance in American literature. A good read that definitely makes you think right until the end and far long after you have reached it.