{17} Middlemarch

{17} Middlemarch by George Eliot”But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” 
This is a hard book for me to review because I feel very torn about it overall. Some parts of it, I loved. Other parts of it were a total drag to get through. I’m going to try to sum up my thoughts here in both categories. 
The Good: I really did love the plot. Middlemarch is centered around a small community full of a variety of colorful characters and circumstances. I really enjoyed Eliot’s profound insight into the inner lives of the characters here. Middlemarch follows several main characters in the town of Middlemarch all of whom are connected in some way. I think that Eliot’s genius is on display here as she brings us into the world of Middlemarch. Each of these characters have difficult choices to make, and the reader is taken on an emotional journey along with the characters in the story. Dorothea, Celia, Casaubon, Ladislaw, Rosamond, Lydgate, Fred, and Mary all face different but intertwined circumstances. I found myself fully invested in the story of each of these main characters. I understand why people say that this is the best novel in the English language. It is because Eliot’s description of the inner lives of the characters here is unparalleled. 
The Bad: There were some part that were a flat out slog to read through. Some whole chapters even I felt like could be completely cut out. I found myself really wanting to get back to the plot, but feeling compelled to read through a ton of detail that I didn’t really feel contributed that much to the main story line. The #maybemiddlemarchers group is the ONLY REASON I plowed ahead. I feel certain that the slow parts would have derailed me (even though I was enjoying the plot line), if I wasn’t reading it in small portions with a group of people doing the same thing. 
I’m not sure I would recommend this one to the average reader. I actually read this one in college, and I had a memory that I enjoyed it. Clearly, I remembered the plot line. Even so, this one is not for the faint of heart, and it’s hard for me to say whether or not the plot is worth the hours invested. It’s probably up to the individual reader. As for me, I’m glad I read it again. I enjoyed it, but I probably won’t pick it up for a third time. 

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