Author: George Eliot
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: 1891
In my Fiction Novel grad class we were assigned a “long classic novel” to read. I choose Middlemarch. We analyzed the writing style and structure, particularly looking at how older novels are different from books published today. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, but I knew George Eliot was a pseudonym for Mary Anne Evans.
It felt reminiscent of Jane Austen, but instead of having a somewhat “everything ends happily” type of wrap-up that JA tends to do, this book offered a more realistic/bleak outlook. Some characters lived happily ever after, some made do with what they had, and some definitely had to live with their poor decisions. I liked seeing the portrayal of characters from page 1 to page 800. With such a thick book, there was LOADS of room for character development and intrigue. By the time I finished Middlemarch, I felt like I knew each person and all of their quirks and mannerisms. It was great!
I spent much of Spring Break’s car trip steadily making progress. I enjoyed every chapter. There were times when I didn’t want to stop reading because it was so good - I was completely vested in the story. My favorite aspect of the novel though, was Eliot's tone – it was snarky and there were SEVERAL parts where I laughed out loud at the snappy dialogue or descriptive passages. The first sentence hinted at the type of humor that would be featured throughout. As soon as I read that line I chuckled to myself and settled into a comfortable position for a delightful read. And Middlemarch did not disappoint.