My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Friday, February 20, 2015

Favorite Classics: Number Three-- Middlemarch, by George Eliot

“Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.”

So says Mary Ann Evans, alias George Eliot, in her massive, gorgeous novel, Middlemarch.

Dorothea Brooke-- young, beautiful, and quite, quite bored with provincial country life-- leaps at the first chance of marriage she gets, to a self-proclaimed notable scholar of mythology.  As her own dreams and preconceptions fade, their absence allows her to see those around her clearly: irresponsible Fred, desperately trying to prove himself worthy of the girl he loves; Rosamond, his sister, prepared to sacrifice her husband's happiness for his success; and Ladislaw, the cousin of Dorothea's husband, who falls more and more in love with the young, unhappy Dorothea, whose reputation he refuses to tarnish.

This is the village of Middlemarch.  A vividly colored, skillfully drawn novel that captures the individual lives of villagers and their eventual intersections.

As for how I came by it, I can only say that my literature teacher knows me well.  After class ended for winter break, she recommended two novels for me to devour until class resumed.  (The other was Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray, which I also enjoyed but did not make the list.)

Middlemarch's brilliance is that it captures multiple plots, spins them into a cohesive story, and never makes one more interesting than the others.  So what that it doubles as a three-pound hand-weight!  Within Middlemarch's almost-eight-hundred pages is a close, hard look at what makes a marriage, what makes a village, and what makes a life.

What can I say about Middlemarch?  It is beautiful.  It is brilliant.  And in case you are interested, it is shorter than Les Miserables!


Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination said...

Middlemarch sounds like a wonderfully complex book-just the perfect kind of book for me! I love when authors make my head spin with multiple plotlines, and I find that this never fails in the classics.

Allison Ruvidich said...

You will love Middlemarch, then! It really is a great one. : )

Anonymous said...

Arrggh, I remember my mum reading that and telling me that the author was pretending to be a man! Why did I forget that?
I'll have to read this book sometime in my life if it's so good!

Allison Ruvidich said...

I hope you love it when you do! : )

Sarah said...

Huh. I've never really given this book much thought, but now I think I should read it. It sounds pretty cool (though possibly something I'd end up reading at a very slow pace), similar to how I worked through Sense and Sensibility

Allison Ruvidich said...

I know what you mean. : D I think you would really enjoy it!

Candice Williams said...

I like the sound of Middlemarch! It reminds me of Dicken's books, but also sounds like it's a unique story all on its own. It's going on my to read list!