After denouncing ‘Middlemarch’ in mid-December when I was only about one-third through the book, I came to actually like the story. I finished the book earlier this week and immediately found myself missing the characters. It was around the halfway point of the book that it finally grabbed my attention. Sadly, it took about 415 pages to get there. 🙂
The characters that I started out liking, Celia and Sir James, became caricatures of themselves and Lydgate’s devotion to his self-centered wife soon wore thin. Dorothea grew on me once her dolt of a husband died and she became more of a person in her own right. But it is Will, Mary and especially Fred who made lasting impressions. From the get-go it was Fred–who seemed to always find trouble through adolescent misjudgment and an unwillingness to take the career route dictated by his father–who I connected with. It was his zest for life, steadfast heart and goodness that won me over.
So, would I read Middlemarch again? Probably not. But, I’m glad I persevered and finished it. Those last 415 pages made it worth my while.