The Mill on the Floss
Around 500 pages
Despite the fact that this novel has a good deal of annoying children, which ruin even the most promising of stories, I actually enjoyed it. It was a definite improvement from Adam Bede and I look forward to seeing more of George Eliot.
Which horrible human being from the Tulliver family should I describe first? There's Mr. Tulliver, a weak man who has driven his family to financial ruin and subsequently takes out his anger on bystanders. Mrs. Tulliver, is similarly weak and asks her children such loving questions like "should I have even married your father?" Tom Tulliver bullies his little sister and believes that nothing he ever does is wrong. Maggie is the best of the Tullivers, but she still got on my nerves. She is extremely kind and looks up to her brother Tom, even when he is an ass to her. However, I think I was supposed to like her a lot more than I did. Eliot kept exclaiming "Poor Maggie!" which I sort of hated. Let me reach my own conclusions about the characters, please. I don't need your pushy descriptions!
Anyway, Maggie is one of those people who is just content to be miserable and never actually wants to fix any of her problems. Granted, she was a woman so she couldn't control much. Still, it is frustrating when a character won't take a simple action that would solve all of her problems.
A great deal of this story took place during Tom and Maggie's childhood. I have probably mentioned this before, but reading about a couple of bratty children isn't my favorite pastime. I have an older brother and if he had acted like that to me or my sister, my mom would have sent him to an asylum.
Once the pair are older, the story gets a lot more interesting. The love square was fun to follow until the ending made everything ridiculous. I had a fun time reading this but it is definitely not high on the 100+ Book List that I usually recommend to every person I meet (it is a rather off putting quirk).
George Eliot lived with George Henry Lewes, a married man who had an open relationship with his wife.
UP NEXT: Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope.