I’m almost half way through Middlemarch now, and am starting to enjoy it a little more; although I’m still of the opinion that it is far from an easy read. It’s taken me until now to have a good grasp of who all the characters are and what their relationships are to each other (not helped by the fact that many of them have quite similar names). Maybe I’m becoming simpler as I read and not more well-informed as one would expect.
This is by no means a book for the idle reader, it takes application and determination to continue reading it. Only now, just shy of the half way point, am I beginning to care about the characters and what befalls them. The social commentary that the novel is concerned with is noteworthy, but, again, not entertaining for any who are not specifically interested in rural England at that time. There are certainly lessons to be learnt from this book, and one gets the impression that, at this stage, they have not been fully taught. Many of the book’s characters are growing in experience, and consequently sense, as the novel develops. It will be interesting, therefore, to see where the story takes Dorothea and Fred before its close – as they seem, to me, to be two people who had the most to learn about themselves at the story’s beginning.
I have gone so far as to say that Middlemarch is beginning to interest me more and is seeming slightly less of a task than it was two days ago, however, I will leave it to you to decide whether or not one should have to read so far into a book before it begins to recommend itself to you in any way. Perhaps, like many before her, Eliot has merely saved the best till last.