Felix Holt, The Radical

First off let me say this, I am not a political person.  I'm not interested in politics *gasp* on the whole, I think politicians are liars (and that's the nicest thing I can say) and anything having to do with the subject quickly elicits my typical response: glazed eyes, nodding off, little drool at the corner of my mouth...  So when I studied up on Felix Holt, The Radical and found out that it was George Eliot's "Most Political Novel" I panicked.  The task seemed insurmountable and the odds of me liking this novel were improbable.

I didn't do Eliot justice.  How could I doubt her genius?!  READ IT.  If you don't like political stuff, it's okay, it's not what you think.  Yes it's set during the backdrop of the first Reform Bill, and Felix is known as a Radical...  But there's so much more going on there than just political stuff, and even that is more interesting than you'd think.  Mr. Lyon is a fantastic character and when his history is revealed in chapter 6, it brings such warmth to the story and illuminates Esther's own personality so much better.  Long story short, I recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it before, it helps if you've read a book or two of Eliot's beforehand, but it's not essential as you'll quickly get used to her writing style.  Here's a couple of good quotes from Felix Holt:

She cried bitterly. If she might have married Felix Holt, she could have been a good woman.  She felt no trust that she could ever be good without him.   p.419

A woman must choose meaner things, because only meaner things are offered to her.  Her lot is made for her by the love she accepts.   p.525

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