I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It is a profoundly thought-provoking, yet simple story, set at the turn of the century in Regency England. The characters are all very real - not at all 'smoothed out' or glorified at all. The plot moves slowly, but it matches the slow-moving working life of the setting. Sleepy farms and villiages populated with common people - who prove not-so-common on closer inspection. The story is quite gripping, though. As I neared the climax, I just couldn't put it down. One of the things I came to think about most was how one tiny action by one character can have a life changing effect on the life on another, and how we must be so careful to make sure we are on the right path before we run forward.
Anyhow - I highly reccommend this to fans of historical novels and period dramas.
Adam Bede - a talented and intelligent young carpenter who is well respected for his honesty and strength of character and opinions. Can often be a bit too stubborn and harsh. In love with Hetty.
Hetty Sorrel - a farm girl of uncommon beauty whose vanity and thoughtlessness causes more greif than she ever could have imagined.
Arthur Donnithorne - grandson of the local Squire and captain in the milita. A gentleman of 20 who is well liked and admired by all the tentants for his cheerful character and genuine concern for their welfare. His worst faults are self-indulgence and a wavering conscience.
Seth Bede - Adam's younger brother. Strong and gentle. In love with Dinah.
Dinah Morris - a deeply religious and selfless young woman who is a comfortor to all she meets. Determined not to marry so she can devote her life to the Lord's work.
I read Elliot's 'Silas Marner' several years ago, and found it quite good too. Has anyone every seen the BBC versions of either Adam Bede or Silas Marner? I am quite curious to see them now. :^)