Adam Bede by George Eliot
Having purchased a Kindle, I downloaded a number of free e-books of “classics” including George Eliot’s “Adam Bede”. It is a delightful read and is a tale of simple country folk in an early nineteenth century rural community. The main character is carpenter Adam Bede a strong, righteous man who cares for his aging mother. He does have a weakness – he’s in love with vain but beautiful Hetty Sorrel. Unfortunately for Adam, the young Hetty is deluded into thinking that the flirtatious attentions of Captain Donnithorne may lead to marriage.
It is not just a story about a love triangle featuring seduction, murder, and retribution. It is a leisurely novel featuring many interesting characters that include Adam’s brother Seth Bede; Methodist preacher Dinah Morris; Hetty’s uncle and aunt, the Poysers and their brood of children; Reverend Irwine, the local Anglican minister and teacher Bartle Massey.
At times, George Eliot diverts the reader from the main plot of the story to describe the activities of the locals in their day-to-day life. The author provides the reader with vivid descriptions of the people; their drinking and harvest parties and particularly the landscapes as the seasons unfold. Occasionally, the novel is difficult to follow when the author slips into the 19th century rural dialect but overall the book is an exceedingly good read.
Robert Bovington
February 2011
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