Adam Bede: Review

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.



  1. Middle March appeared to do that -- drag on -- but it really didn't. There was enough there to keep you moving. But thank you, for sharing this. I do like her too, and this may have saved me from pouring into a book that may have left me flat. so little time...

  2. this is not acceptable. You must go back and make a post about how amazing and incredible this fantabulous work was since I am slated to read it in June. ;)

    Hopefully something in it will trigger more with me.
    **crosses fingers and toes**

  3. The only Eliot I've read is Silas Marner. I looooved it, but I've never been terribly keen to pick up Adam Bede. Sorry to hear that it didn't pan out for you!

  4. LOL! Maybe you all will like it better than I did.

    Silas Marner is one of my top 10 books.

  5. That's a fantastic quote. I'm going to put that one in my file, thanks. I've yet to try Eliot.

  6. I haven't read Eliot either, but Silas Marner is on my list. Based on your review, I think it's the better choice. Thanks.

  7. I loved Adam Bede, I think mostly because of Adam's character. At times I felt that he was not penetrating enough into Hetty's character, but Eliot herself sees this perhpaps flaw? in him and tries to give some explanation. With or without her help, it is all part of the novel's charm, giving you this conflict to work out in your head. All around gorgeous writing, and no, not slow paced. I raced through it.

  8. This is not a book dealing with world-changing circumstances. It does however beautifully cover one small sequence of events.

    It does so with great sympathy and empathy -- and it is ever so believable! All the characters had their own virtues and flaws, and Eliot paints them fully. I'm sad you didn't appreciate this.

  9. It's really annoying that you never find out what happens to one of the main characters after the events of this book.

    I HATED the character of Dinah that we were supposed to love. So prissy and preachy. But we're supposed to like her for it. Ugh.

  10. Romola is George Eliot's first book which obviously she thought about for a while before putting pen to paper as it show a depth of thought and a careful planning of events that belie a first author's efforts. This book has a fascination of the traits of human nature especially mankind's most base nature. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it held my attention from beginning to the very end.


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