Review: Middlemarch

Title: Middlemarch19089

Author: George Eliot

Pages: 904

Method of Reading: Audiobook via Overdrive

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: The cross-section of a late 1800s town. In it are stories of love unrequited, marriage dissolutioned, courtships exciting and families on the verge of happiness or ruin.

Recommended To: Fans of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. George Eliot is Jane Austen on steroids.

Song for this Book: “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole. (Yup, the Dawson’s Creek theme song.)

Review:

Old country homes now available in Middlemarch, England! Our town is home to several well-to-do families, an up-and-coming politician, and budding captains of industry. With scenic views and an active social setting, Middlemarch is the ideal place to find love, raise a family and live life.

All these and more are some charming aspects of Middlemarch, but George Eliot reveals the true treasure of of the town: the hearts of a few special people.

This “Study of Provincial Life” takes a deep dive into the innermost yearnings and worries of its main characters, both male and female. I was so impressed that a male author could in fact write women so well…

Wait…George Eliot is a GIRL? That explains a lot. Yes, Middlemarch was penned under a pseudonym by a most controversial author. Seriously, look her up!

This book is like a Jane Austen novel on steroids. Written about 100 years after Austen’s time, it delves into the darker side of people. It also features dirtier scandals, which were more acceptable in Eliot’s time period. While Middlemarch features the same socioeconomic class as Austen’s novels, it paints a far more colorful picture and offers more depth and drama.

Middlemarch has lines so moving, so cuttingly true that I had to stop to write them down. Then I stared into space for a few minutes thinking about them. Here are a few:

” Trouble is so hard to bear. How can we live and think that anyone has trouble – piercing trouble, and we could help them, and never tried? ~ Dorothea Brooke

“I happen to have behaved just the worst to the people I can’t help wishing the most from.” ~Lydgate

“I believe that most people are always better than their neighbors think they are.”

“What we call despair is often the painful eagerness of unfed hope.”

“The more our egoism is satisfied, the more robust our belief.”

“Men outline their love, but they never outlive the consequences of their recklessness.”

“They were like two creatures slowly turning to marble in each others presence while their hearts were conscious and their eyes were yearning.” (Suck on that, Twilight!)

“I would rather have a good second husband than an indifferent first.”

I really loved this book and its characters. Compared to its contemporaries, it’s extremely underrated. Read it and fine your own favorite quote!

 

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