I wrote a midway post so I could participate in Nymeth's Middlemarch readalong. A post containing my full thoughts on the book will be up next week or the week after.
If I had one word to describe Middlemarch it would be dense. Each page is packed with information that advances the plot. It’s actually caused me to notice why I have trouble with classics. I cannot skim which I do frequently with contemporary books. Yes, I admit I skim books. I usually read the beginning, first 50-80 pages. If nothing really catches me then I skim/read the rest of the book. With Middlemarch there is no room to skim. I have to give it 110% of my attention something that’s so hard for me to do. If I’m not totally engrossed in a book, then look shiny thing!
Around page 200, I considered throwing in the towel. But so many people talked about how they liked the book and since it’s on my Fill In The Gaps Challenge and I wasn’t hating the book, I had to find a way to keep reading. After reading the information in Wikipedia, I felt that I would really enjoy the rest of the book. I’m about ½ and really enjoying it now.
I really like Dorothea. She’s a smart women in an age where smart women weren’t listened to. She’s not content to be left out of the conversation. Dorothea wants to learn more in order to contribute. Here’s another reason I almost quit reading. After the first bit, Dorothea drops out of the story for a few 100 pages. And the other characters weren’t as interesting. Ok, I was interested in Mary and Fred. Mary is another headstrong woman. She’s doing her own thing, making her own “bread” (money). Fred’s a nice guy but not interested in a job. Fred likes to party and gamble. Fred loves Mary but Mary won’t marry him unless he finds an occupation (and not the clergy). I enjoyed their banter. They seemed like the most real couple to me.
I’ll hold the rest of my observations til I finish the rest. Cross your fingers that I can finish it this weekend.