September 2023-May, 2024: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

September 24, October 22, November 26, January 28, February 25, March 24, April 28, and May 26 at 1:00-3:00 PM (Pacific) | Virtual Event


New this year, we will be devoting an entire year to one novel instead of two, and will dive deeply into Great Expectations. Join Dickens enthusiasts and Pickwick Club members for a series of discussions about this book.

Charles Dickens depicts how a gentleman is made, not born, in this novel. Presented as Pip's confessional autobiography, Great Expectations describes his childhood at the forge, his infatuation with the beautiful Estella, his shame at his working-class origin and his eagerness to be a gentleman, and eventually his life as a young man-about-town with "great expectations" of inheriting a fortune. Recalling these events as an adult, Mr. Pirrip is frank about his mistakes and shortcomings.


Reading Schedule

Great Expectations reading schedule
Sep 24 Beginning to Book 1, Chapter 9 registration button
Oct 22 To Book 1, Chapter 17 registration button
Nov 26 To Book 2, Chapter 4 registration button
Dec 24 No Meeting registration button
Jan 28 To Book 2, Chapter 11 registration button
Feb 25 To Book 2, Chapter 19 registration button
Mar 24 To Book 3, Chapter 5 registration button
Apr 28 To Book 3, Chapter 14 registration button
May 26 To End registration button

Recommended Edition: We recommend the Penguin Classics edition of the novel for its appendices and notes, but other versions are fine. First-time readers should avoid the Introduction if they don't want spoilers. Download the novel to read at or to listen at

The Santa Cruz Pickwick (Book) Club, a branch of the Dickens Fellowship, is a community of local bookworms, students, and teachers who meet monthly to discuss a nineteenth-century novel. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries provide support for the reading group.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries