Have you a favourite book? A book that has stayed with you through thick and thin? Of course you have. Everyone does. This is a book about a book, or more accurately, a book about the love of a book.
I don’t usually venture into the genre of non-fiction, but the premise of this book intrigued me. Rebecca Mead loves Middlemarch by George Elliot. It is her favourite book and the events in the story, and indeed the life that Elliot led, resonates on a very deep level with Mead. As I’m a sucker for learning about what makes people tick, particularly if it has to do with literature, I delved into this book straight away.
Now, I’ve not read Middlemarch, and that right there was my downfall. Chapter by chapter, we get a mini biography of Elliot and her family. We also get a LOT of analysis of Middlemarch. I did my degree in English Literature, and even I couldn’t help but skip the many pages of theory and analysis. You’ve really got to like, or have studied, Middlemarch to understand and enjoy those pages.
Even though I was overwhelmed by the biography and literary analysis featured in the book, I did find the insights that we occasionally got of the author’s life, love of Middlemarch and literature in general, very interesting. Unfortunately, for me, there wasn’t enough of that. I went into this book believing that there would be more personal reflection. Saying that, I think if it was about an author that I loved or had studied a lot, then I would love this book. If you are a fan of George Elliot, then I definitely recommend that you seek out this book. If you are not a fan, then I recommend you save your money.
Bit of a disappointment this week, but as my TBR pile keeps telling me, there are many more books to read!
Until next time,