Thursday, April 30, 2015
Book Review: My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead is a fascinating book. Written about her favorite book, the author visits some of the places George Eliot lived, visited, and wrote, goes to museums to read manuscripts and letters and views articles which once belonged to Eliot now housed in family homes, museums and libraries, and reads memoirs and manuscripts from literary professionals, all in an effort to better understand the book that had long been Ms. Mead's favorite.
I could not put this book down. It is not a dry as bones recitation but a very personal look at how a book literally can be a life companion and how it resonates with that reader for several decades. Having a favorite book companion of my own, I understood just how Ms. Mead came to write this book. It is a compelling look at how Middlemarch came to be written and what experiences from Eliot's own life inspired the book. The back story is about how the book shaped Mead's life from first reading through several decades of re-reading.
My Life In Middlemarch has these three threads all through the book's narrative: the life of George Eliot, passages from Middlemarch and how they may have been inspired by Eliot's own life, and brief points in Ms. Mead's life when her life paralleled that of Eliot or characters from Eliot's novel.
I've never read Middlemarch though I've read several of Eliot's novels. Because of this book of Ms. Mead's I will be reading it and enjoying it doubly because I will understand the back story about characters and incidents within the novel. That fact is what makes me believe this book is supremely well written. Ms. Mead's enthusiasm, appreciation and love for this Eliot novel has been translated into my need to read it.
This book was sent to me for reading in consideration of a review by Blogging For Books.