Although much of the plot is driven by coincidental encouters, as much of Dickens' work is, I was still charmed by the interaction of characters in Nicholas Nickelby. Although the book meanders for much of the time, and there are all sorts of characters introduced, and requainted, I didn't mind its inability of focus on the straight and narrow.
Mrs. Nickelby by far was my favorite character. I can't say I was bored by any one character in the book, which is saying a lot, because there are many distinct personalities woven in here. Even Kate appeared to have some depth to her by the end, which I wasn't expecting out of a stock, pretty, sweet sister type.
The plot is typical Dickens fare, with your cunning villans contrasted with righteous heros. It's a long read, and you may get winded, but by the end, you realize that you've truly had a great time.