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The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

About the book

This novel, based on George Eliot’s own experiences of provincial life, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in which moral choice is subjected to the hypocrisy of the Victorian age. As the headstrong Maggie Tulliver grows into womanhood, the deep love which she has for her brother Tom turns into conflict, because she cannot reconcile his bourgeois standards with her own lively intelligence. Maggie is unable to adapt to her community or break free from it, and the result, on more than one level, is tragedy.

Reviewed by Friends of Farnborough Reading Group:

The book was agreed to be worth the effort of reading but needed initial perseverance. It led to a discussion of the changing role of women in society.

Star rating: ****

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7 thoughts on “The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot”

  1. Review by Boater’s Book Club Reading group:
    Everyone had difficulty getting into it, but then enjoyed it. There were strong views on the various characters, especially their weaknesses. The style was considered long winded, however the representation of life at that time was enjoyed. Overall, everyone was pleased they’d read it but most would not have chosen it.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Boater’s Book Club Reading group:
    Everyone had difficulty getting into it, but then enjoyed it. There were strong views on the various characters, especially their weaknesses. The style was considered long winded, however the representation of life at that time was enjoyed. Overall, everyone was pleased they’d read it but most would not have chosen it.
    Star rating: **

  3. Review by Blackwater Valley U3A Reading Group:
    Beautifully written with very interesting and sometimes entertaining characters. Rather ‘long winded’ for modern tastes. Very sad ending – almost as if she did not know what else to do with the character.
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Solent U3A Reading Group:
    This is a most enjoyable book. Very well written, moving story of times and lives of the era.
    Star rating: ***

  5. Review by Hawkley Book Group:
    Hard work, but ultimately rewarding. This book told us more about the main characters inner life than other novels we have read recently. The ending was rather too abrupt.
    Star rating: ****

  6. Review by Anton Bookies Reading Group:
    Most of the group enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written with a melodramatic story and a surprising and tragic ending. The characterisation of the main characters was very good, but some of the writing was long winded for today’s reader and it highlighted the different status of women in the 1860’s which led to much discussion on women’s position in society, even today. We thought it was very much a book of its time.
    Star rating: ***

  7. Review by Hartley Readers Reading Group:
    Characters well drawn. Social and rural England at the time was brilliant. Outcome of the story led to debate. Very memorable.
    Star rating: ****

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