Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: Adam Bede by George Elliot

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.

Main Characters:

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. :^)


Marian said...

Nice review! We have the BBC Silas Marner movie, and it's really, really good. We also watched Adam Bede, but didn't like it, and there's at least one fast-forward scene.

I don't know if you've read Far from the Madding Crowd by Hardy, but that's also a really good book, similar to Elliot's novels. :)

Fiddlin Girl said...

We have both.. Mom said the Bede book did a fairly good job in the movie. However, like Marian said, there is one bad scene. However, I just need to get mom to go in and edit it out..

Love ya! Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hmmm sounds interesting! I've never read either, but it looks like it might be worth a shot!

joanne May said...

Beautiful post and blog. Thank you for following me. I am now following you too!;-)

All best wishes,
Jo May.

PrincessR said...

I really enjoyed Adam Bede as well. It has been a while since I read it, but I agree with all you said about it. All it takes is a little sin to make everything else screwed up. I wish we had more Adam's in the world. :)
Love, RH


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