Review: Silas Marner by George Eliot

YFBE6659[1]Fairly recently I delved back into the world of classics, giving the much loved author Edith Wharton another go with her novel Ethan Frome. I’d previously read The House of Mirth by her and hadn’t been very impressed, but I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Ethan Frome in comparison. Feeling inspired by this, I decided to revisit another classic author; George Eliot. Middlemarch, arguably her most famous work, was a novel I studied in University, and whilst I appreciated the talent within it, I also found it lengthy and pretty boring. However, I knew that many people loved this author, so I decided to give her another go with the much shorter and therefore much quicker read of Silas Marner.

Silas Marner tells the story of the eponymous titular character. Wrongly accused of theft by those he most trusted, Silas is forced to leave the place he calls home, making his way to the smaller rural village of Raveloe. Here he establishes his usefulness in the community as a weaver, yet despite his skills Silas refuses to integrate himself into Raveloe’s society. He lives on the fringes of the rural village, a man whose strange ways cause the local folk to easily condemn him, whilst the children run in fear. All that Silas cares for is his precious stash of coins, saved meticulously over the many years. Yet when his gold is stolen, Silas is forced to once more face society, a task that becomes all the more urgent when an orphaned child, Eppie, finds her way into Silas home and heart. Through Eppie, can Silas transform his life for ever?

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Review: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

OBIF2651[1]So far this year I’ve read an awful lot of books which are fairly newer releases in the grand scheme of things. Whilst this is great and I love keeping up with the newer reading trends, I’ve been finding myself craving one of my true loves; a good old fashioned classic piece of literature. I love reading the classics, and whilst I can freely admit that they might not be for everyone, I personally love them. There’s something about the words and the stories you can find within them that make me feel incredibly cosy and comforted. I read a lot of classic fiction when I was very young so I think a lot of this is mixed up with feelings of nostalgia. Either way, I knew it was time I gave in to the cravings.

I’ve previously read one other book by Edith Wharton, and that was arguably her most famous work The House of Mirth. As you can see from my review here and the fact that I gave it a 2*/5* rating, I wasn’t overly impressed with her work. Seeing that I had another of her books, Ethan Frome, sitting on my bookshelves in the gorgeous Penguin English Library Edition, I decided to give the author another go, with the story sounding more up my street. The novel follows the eponymous character Ethan Frome, and is described as a story of ‘ill-stared lovers and tragic destinies’. Ethan works the best that he can in a hostile farm, trying to appease his difficult and hypochondriac wife Zeena. When Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, comes to help around the house, Ethan begins to realise that there is more to life than the rut he has become stuck in. Time passes and his love deepens, but how could Ethan ever forsake the wife he is promised to?

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