I started this book a few days ago having read that another BGOer, although I cannot remember who and on which thread, found this to be their favourite book by George Eliot. Having read three books by the same author all of which were set in the English countryside of the 19th century I was surprised to find that this book was set in 15th century Florence! I am finding the book a little more difficult to read and get into than my previous Eliot reads. This could be due to the constant reference to philosophers of the time and the language used. Having read many books by Thomas Hardy whose books I often compare with those of Eliot I was perfectly prepared for my previous three reads. With Romala I have little previous reading experince with which to compare the book.
After a slow start I am beginning to get on much better with this book and am beginning to find some of the usual Eliot themes. As is usual with her books part of the story hinges on a secret often following a poor choice made by one of the characters, in this case by Tito who seems to be the main character. The theme of causality, how our deeds and behaviour are governed by just one chance happening or choice thus changing the direction and nature of our lives completely, is beginning to show it's face as it has in all of my previous three Eliot reads. There is also a moral theme which, again, I have found in other of her books.
Having read best part of a quarter of this book I now feel myself to be on firmer ground and am beginning to enjoy it much more. Once again, as the story unfolds, I wish to shout advice to some of the characters warning them of their mistakes.
I am about a third of the way through this book. Having read and Loved Middlemarch by the same author last year I thought that I would give another a try. It tells the stories of the lives of a group of people living everyday country lives. Once again I am finding that George Eliot had a wonderful understanding of human nature and paints her characters beautifully, warts included. Although pretty slow going the language used is just lovely to read and even the not so likeable characters have their charm.
As with Middlemarch many of the characters set out with the best of intentions but life and circumstances constantly come along to trip them up. Adam Bede is an admirable charcter although ordinary. He supports his elderly mother and has helped his younger brother under difficult circumstances but I suspect that his will not be a happy story.
Once again there are many religous themes running through the book which seems to have been quite common with novels of the time. In Adam Bede though we meet the methodists which does not seem to be quite so common. Dinah, is a female Methodist preacher who I suspct was very unusual for her time. She is lovely and a wonderful foil for Hetty, a beautiful but rather vain and thoughtless girl with little depth of feeling. Unfortunately it is Hetty who Adam loves and I can see nothing but pain coming from his love.
George Eliot - Daniel Deronda - 1876
I like the style of the 19th century. I especially like George Eliot's style. She describes the characters extremely well, the problems between the different people are very interesting and everyone seems so alive. There are people there whom you will like and others whom you will dislike. The novel gives a lot of information about life at the time, a lot of history, the problem the Jews had all through the centuries. A very interesting book, a lot to read, about 750 pages. I loved this book.
I was amazed there is no thread about any of George Eliot's books and I will go and start another one on Middlemarch.
(first started this thread 02.04.06)
George Eliot - Middlemarch - 1871-72
I like George Eliot's novels. Middlemarch is probably my favourite. I love Dorothea Brooke, the main character. There is so much she has to deal with. She could have been a great woman at our time (as the author) with the possibilities we have today but had to fight all her life to be heard. I agree with the description above, almost every subject is touched, medical reform, industrialisation, religious thinking, women's rights, a great description of the change of society from the old times to our modern world. A great read!(thread first started 02.04.06)
This book is one of my attempts at tackling the classics, and it didn't disappoint.
The book tells the story of Silas Marner a weaver who is a loner as a result of an incident earlier in his life, he lives a secluded life and is obsessed with the gold he collects. Then his life changes when he is suddenly the adopted father of a small child, Eppie. She brings into his life new joys and new people.
A well told story but I only gave it 3 stars, for most of the book is fantastic but it seemed to really drop off in the middle, and there was a few random chapters where I was completely lost and confused.
Definately worth a read.