Monday, July 7, 2014

My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

“Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself... There are books that grow with the reader as the reader grows.”
For Mead such a book was Middlemarch by George Elliot. She has written this book as a biography and a memoir;a biography of Elliot and a memoir of what the book means to her in her development.
Some books can read you, she states. She feels Middlemarch is such a book. Some books expand the more we read them.
Never having read the book, I can’t really say that.
English teachers seem to be fond of issuing book reports to be done favoring Elliot, Sir Walter Scott, Thackeray and Dickens. They ask for theme and plot and message. Teachers seem to be able to ruin the joy of reading for many students. 
If we had a book like this which treats the story development as a reflection of where Elliot was at that period in her life, it would have made the reviewing more pleasant.
It seems this book would be understood better by students and book readers who need context for their analysis of Middlemarch.
I was lost in trying to figure out what Mead was doing. It is not the type of book that I can lose myself in.
I was given this book free for reviewing purposes by and was not required to give a positive review. Any views expressed are those of the reviewer and not the publisher.

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