I commenced reading Adam Bede as part of a personal challenge, and I will admit that the first 50 pages I began to doubt my sanity.
Published in 1859 and written by George Eliot (Under the pseudonym Mary Anne Evans), this is a pastoral romance which is full of colloquialisms and dialect, which it took me awhile to comprehend, but after my initial doubt, the superb story telling lead me into a simple, but wonderfully written tale.
I’m not going to spoil the plot by relating the whole, but rather state why I found this book a sheer delight. The story wasn’t particularly deep and meaningful, but the characterizations were amazing. George Eliot relayed a whole world through the eyes of her main character Adam Bede, and by doing so she convinced me to feel a compassion and sympathy for otherwise despicable characters. This is something rarely achieved by authors, but I was so in tune with Adam’s responses that I felt I must forgive as he did.
Now I have read other reviews since completing the book, and a lot of them were complaining how women were secondary, but seriously can we really dwell on that? This is a book written in a time when that was common, using that as a negative focus is absurd.
In conclusion this book brought me to tears, it drew you in, showed you a glimpse into a community and led you out the other side wiser and hopefully more able to forgive.