The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot


General Fiction

The Mill on the Floss The Mill on the FlossGeorge Eliot; Signet Classics 1965WorldCat

In other book reviews I have mentioned that I like happy stories. Once again this holds true. This is a well written book that made me empathize with the characters. I was often upset or hurting for Maggie. I never could identify with the one sided vision of her father and brother. I would often get angry with her brother when he treated her shabbily.

This was first published in 1860. It is the story of Maggie Tulliver and her brother, Tom, living in a mill on the Floss River. Their father is a proud man who loves his children but angers easily in other areas, especially those concerning his business. He is easily gets his back up in a huff, then does not easily forgive the person who angered him.

Maggie wants to be loved and accepted by her brother. Unfortunately, Tom takes her for granted. If he has something go wrong, he will take it out on her. Then he will miss her and pet her again; her world becomes fine again. When Mr. Tulliver’s business fails, all his rage is directed at the man he feels is responsible. He then drags Tom and Maggie into his vendetta. Tom sides with his father. Maggie is caught in the storm of family issues.

This book is full of description. The countryside is beautiful The descriptive passages drag on. I could skip pages and not lose any of the story. Finally, about 4/5 of the way through, I gave up and skipped to the end. Tom had yet to give in to Maggie’s feelings when I skipped forward. The ending did not shock me, but saddened me. Maggie’s life does not turn the way of most young girl’s dreams.

If you like 19th century literature, you will probably like this novel. I tend to like faster paced books. And, as I said, I like happier books. Or at least more hopeful books.

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