Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

Review: My Life in Middlemarch
Rebecca Mead
Broadway Books

I cannot remember reading a book that I have enjoyed more than this one.  Mead and her interaction with Middlemarch and George Eliot, its author, made me want the same thing from a book that I have read and loved.  Yes, maybe “love” is the proper word.  Is there one?

In what one reviewer called a “bibliomemoir” (304) Mead works her way through the books that comprise Middlemarch.  That book, the places and the people that served as inspiration for the author, and Mead’s own story as it connected with Eliot’s text is the gist of Mead’s work here.  She has explored the life of the author, those around her, the locales that touched even remotely on the text or author’s life, and even an unusual letter writing devotee, in a way that is more a diary of impressions and information than anything else, I think.  

Do you need to have read Middlemarch before reading this?  No.  Mead gives her readers enough information to place the time and characters well into Victorian England.  It might add more depth, but that’s a guess since I have not read it.   What I learned from Mead is to slow down and think more deeply about a text and not only the text itself, but also the life of the author.  Yes, that might mean a bit of research, but the rewards are worth the effort judging from what Mead has described here.  

Yes, find a copy of this book and read it.  Then see if you can do the same with any book you have read.  I’m on a quest to find that book of my own now.  

I received this book from the publishers in return for a review.

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