In the sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice finds herself dreaming of what life might be like on the other side of a mirror. Whilst imagining this alternative reality, she finds herself slipping – you guessed it – through the looking-glass.
I very much enjoyed “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, but maybe that was partly due to nostalgia since I remembered the story from childhood. I found “Through the Looking-Glass” slightly frustrating to read; Alice begins the story as a precocious little girl who seems to pester her cats a little too much, and she ends the story in exactly the same way. She blunders from one mishap to another, showing very little sign of learning anything or developing as a character throughout the story.
I remember my English teacher at school telling me that having your character wake up to find that “it was all a dream” is one of the most pointless endings to a story; a surefire way to annoy your reader! Perhaps that’s why I struggle with this story; Alice goes through all that trouble for nothing (and doesn’t appear to have learnt anything from it). Aside from having a slightly odd dream, nothing actually happened.
What I will say for this book is that I enjoyed the poetry. I love poetry and it is woven throughout this novel, with poems popping up at various intervals as Alice meets new characters. Alice, on the other hand, has very little patience for poetry and explains this very rudely on several occasions; another blot against her character, in my opinion!
To be fair, you cannot deny that this book is cleverly written. It is immensely descriptive and paints a very visual picture, and I am sure it will appeal to many people (its popularity reflects that). Unfortunately, it is just not my cup of tea.