Why do Darnay/Carton/[Stryver] fall in love with Lucie? We're not shown anything except her being sweet, dutiful, golden-haired, and obedient. Does she have good qualities I've overlooked? It takes away from believability that they're not shown. The rest of the novel's like that too: stuff happens, but it's not character-driven. Too much happens without the reader seeing any reason for it, like a film reduced to precisely two hours for Hollywood. I found myself flicking back a page and wondering 'oh, how many years passed in that otherwise uneventful paragraph?'.
It's more like a history than a novel. I wish Shakespeare or someone had lived long enough to sieze the storyline, which is compelling; it's just not well told.
Dare I mention how none of the characters seem particularly multi-dimensional? They command interest because the story's interesting, but we don't see anything of them beyond what's required for the plot. It's more story notes than a novel, with too much description.
Tell me why I'm wrong.