I tried. I really did. I really wanted to love this book. I usually love George Eliot's writing but I struggled reading this.
Adam Bede is a story of simple English country life. Adam is a hard working, moral man with a drunken father and overbearing mother. He is in love with the pretty but vain Hetty. Hetty has dreams of becoming the Squire's grandson, Arthur's wife. She has both men head over heels for her. Meanwhile, Adam's brother Seth is in love with the Methodist lady-preacher Dinah, who says she can never marry. Dinah is a kind hearted healer to the sinners of the world. All these people end up entangled in a horrific tragedy.
My biggest problem with Adam Bede was the pacing. It took forever to get to the action. Maybe this is the point. Near the end Eliot says:
"Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great steam engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them: it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
I did feel for Adam but I was aggravated with him for not seeing Hetty for what she really was. Most of the female characters were either harpies or whiners. It wasn't enjoyable to read those parts.
Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this book at this time. Still, the writing is quite beautiful and the main characters vividly real and fleshed out.