Eccentric Musings (jakaEM)

"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë


still figuring this place out - Jen W

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Currently reading

Friend of My Youth
Alice Munro
Progress: 115/288 pages
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Middlemarch - George Eliot, Rosemary Ashton Much to say. Proper review to come.

This three-star rating may rise to four, once I think a bit more about its subtleties. There are many pleasures here, and lots to love: the ironic and cutting humour; the wonderful characters - Mrs. Cadwallader and Mr. Brooke almost Dickensian in their idiosyncrasies; how they evolve over time and the way your opinion of them does too. And of course, thematically it's a treasure trove.

But I have to say, this thing was too often a slog, dragged down so frequently by an intrusive, pedantic narrator who oversold the point. A very smart goodreader - Kelly? Miriam? - once said that she appreciated authors who gave their reader credit and space to connect the dots. Georgie Girl doesn't give that to her readers: whether she is her narrator here or not, I felt a distinct lack of trust of the reader. I was left feeling that it was more important for GE to be the smartest one in the room, showing off her vocabulary, her classical education and her breadth of feeling, than to let her characters do that for her.

Also - word to the wise: the Notes in this Penguin Classics edition were truly terrible. Literal and non-illuminating. (Completely the opposite of the Notes in [b:Bleak House|31242|Bleak House|Charles Dickens||2960365] in the same series).

Back with more later, or happy to discuss in the comments!