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George Eliot

average rating is 5 out of 5

Classics, Romance

R. Alex Jenkins

Essentially, Middlemarch is a giant romance novel covering the relationships of various couples at the upper echelons of society about two hundred years ago. The ladies dress in silken frocks, the gentlemen sport cravats and everyone waltzes around in carriages to attend luncheons and dinner parties. It's formal and old fashioned, but George Eliot writes so well and enthusiastically it's totally captivating. I never imagined so much pleasure from this type of book, especially as I’m a sci-fi, dystopia and horror fan.

A book for romantic softies at heart then.

Relationships are constantly on a knife edge, which is much of the intrigue. Too much money is spent, maintaining status is a constant concern, emotions need to be kept in check and everyone is afraid of getting cut off or disgraced. Middlemarch portrays the constant wrangle of society rung-shifting, which is tiresome, let's face it, but it's the character dynamics that keep you going.

Middlemarch is rather long and requires a smidge of patience to get through, plus acceptance of subtle plot shifts, slowdowns and backtracks for it all to make sense in the end.

George Eliot (female) writes even better than Jane Austin in my subjective opinion, with less character tangles and name confusions, but you're still advised to use some accompanying notes to unravel possible muddles in the middle of the book.

So rewarding and lovingly constructed. I really enjoyed it!

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