A while ago I picked up my first George Eliot (pen name for Mary Ann Evans) . I heard great things about her novels and decided to pick up Silas Marner when I was in a local bookshop. The brief synopsis on the back of the book sounded interesting. I also heard that The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was based on this classic so I was even more intrigued. Want to know what I thought of the ‘original’?
Title | Silas Marner
Author | George Eliot
Published | 2012 (originally 1861)
Language | English
Pages | 240
Goodreads | ★★★
Book Depository | paperback editionSummary
Wrongly accused of theft and exiled from a religious community many years before, the embittered weaver Silas Marner lives alone in Raveloe, living only for work and his precious hoard of money. But when his money is stolen and an orphaned child finds her way into his house, Silas is given the chance to transform his life. His fate, and that of the little girl he adopts, is entwined with Godfrey Cass, son of the village Squire, who, like Silas, is trapped by his past. (Goodreads)First sentence:
In the days when the spinning-wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses – and even great ladies, clothed in silk and threadlace, had their toy spinning-wheels of polished oak – there might be seen in districts far away among the lanes, or deep in the bosom of the hills, certain pallid undersized men, who, by the side of the brawny country-folk, looked like the remnants of a disinherited race.
Silas Marner was a pleasant novel: I enjoyed it, but did not love it. I think that had partly to do with the fact that the book was quite short and that the character of Silas Marner isn’t explored thoroughly. The story develops quite slowly at first, working towards the ‘disaster’ of Silas losing his money. That takes about half of the novel and was interesting in parts, but not always. When Silas finds a young girl at his doorstep he is immediately convinced that this is a sort of divine treasure that is given to him because he lost his money. There aren’t a lot (if any) difficulties to overcome from then on (or maybe only the changing of nappies …) which gave me the feeling of a short story rather than a novel.
The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened, is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as a reason why the event should never happen, even when the lapse of time is precisely the added condition which makes the event imminent.
Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least-instructed human beings.
This might come across as if I didn’t like Silas Marner – I did. I loved Eliot’s style of writing. It was very poetic and there were a lot of sentences that I had to save to make sure I wasn’t going to forget them. I’m quite curious as to her other novels now, so I think I’ll check them out pretty soon.
In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child’s
That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed reading this review.
Have you read Silas Marner? Or any other works by Eliot that you can recommend?