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|Our Mutual Friend|
|Name||Our Mutual Friend|
|Appears In||Live Together, Die Alone|
Our Mutual Friend (1864–5) is the last completed novel written by Charles Dickens. It centers on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life" (which is, incidentally, a quote from Our Mutual Friend, spoken by Bella at the end of book III, chapt. iv.). In the opening chapter, a young man is on his way to receive his inheritance, which, according to his father's will, he can only claim if he marries Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he has never met. However, before he can arrive, a body is found in the Thames and identified as him. The money passes on, instead, to the Boffins, and the effects spread throughout various corners of London society. The book is largely believed to be the most challenging and complicated that Dickens produced. Reviews at the time of publication were not generally favorable, but critical opinion shifted in the century that followed. Although somewhat a mystery, an important point concerning the identity of certain characters is revealed halfway through, without hinting as to the ending.
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This book has belonged to Desmond for several years, and he planned for it to be the last book he ever read. While he was in prison, he did not bring it with him inside, to avoid the temptation of reading it. When he was released, he attempted a solo sailing race around the world, and when he hit tough seas, he wrapped the book in plastic, duct taped it up, and placed it inside his coat. When he arrived on the island, the book remained inside the hatch with him.
After 3 years inside, Desmond contemplated suicide, and opened the book to begin reading it, and discovered a letter written by his former lover Penny which she had written many years previous. Desmond would return to the book, as it was the place he had hidden the Dharma System Termination Key for the Swan Station.