17883928“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; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself.” 

What is this book about?

Rebecca Mead loves Middlemarch, the classic novel written by George Elliot. She loves it so much, that she wrote a book about how much she loves it. And in between her love there is of course also some background info on George Eliot and the circumstances surrounding the writing of Middlemarch. But mostly it’s about how awesome Middlemarch is.

Why is it boring?

If you don’t know Middlemarch or didn’t like it, you will not be able to get through this book. Also, if you are not interested in George Eliot’s life and the Victorian scandals she got herself into, just leave it on the shelf. This is non-fiction and although it’s pretty exciting at some times – see Victorian scandals – don’t expect it to read like a novel. Sometimes the background information is a bit too dense and I found myself reading the book slowly, taking it all in.

Who would you recommend it to?

People who are thinking about reading anything by George Eliot (but beware of spoilers) or who are also in love with Middlemarch. Rebecca Mead does a fantastic job writing a raving review of the book, that only heartless people are immune to. I’ve read Middlemarch before reading this book and all it did was make me read it again and again and again.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

My Life in Middlemarch is a love letter to one of the greatest classic novels written by an enigmatic author. It is so clear that Middlemarch is such an important book to Mead, that I find it hard not to be swept up in her enthusiasm. She does an amazing job delving into Eliot’s life and giving you an image of how Middlemarch, but also how George Eliot the author came into existence. I had no idea that Eliot lived her life in sin by not marrying her greatest love Lewes (Just read it for their love story, it’s so much more romantic than anything ever written) and that she then again lived in sin my marrying someone else shortly after Lewes died. Knowing more about her life and about the book gave me a deeper appreciation for it and made me love it more as well. However my favorite parts were the ones were Mead talks about how Middlemarch impacted her own life and these paragraphs were unfortunately way too short. As a moody teenager she loved Middlemarch for the intellectual Dorothea, but growing older she learns to love other aspects as these fit into her life. Her book is a great example of how books can be important to your life and stay with you throughout, constantly changing with you, evolving into a friend instead of just a book.

Rating: 3,5/5

Review Copy attained through Blogging For Books and Edelweiss.


Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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