This is 'Days of Our Lives' in 1800's England as two characters make bad marriage choices. It’s also about the good citizens of Middlemarch, where the favourite activity is speculating about the neighbors. But you need to be ready for the wordiness of 1800's novelists to enjoy this wonderful book.
Idealistic Dorothea marries an older man for his great mind, despite the warnings of a pragmatic sister. She soon finds her husband’s greatness does not extend to daily life where he is petty and self-absorbed. Like Dorothea, local doctor Tertius also has a noble heart, but falls in love with a shallow woman. I have always wished nice Tertius and Dorothea could get together but that is not where the story goes.
I like that idealism causes so much trouble. Even today this is unexpected...we expect noble people to be rewarded. There are no easy HEAs in Middlemarch, but it's not totally miserable either. One of the leads lucks out. And I love the gossipy town and all the local characters. Best of all is George Eliot's clever writing...like the observations of an invisible local. On every page there are quotable comments. And her writing style is so lyrical - to me it reads like a poem.
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