Maggie Tulliver, whose father owns a mill perched on the banks of the River Floss, is intelligent and imaginative beyond the understanding of her community, her relatives, and particularly her brother Tom. Despite their opposite temperaments, Maggie and Tom are united by a strong bond. But this bond suffers when Tom's sense of family honor leads him to forbid her to associate with the one friend who appreciates her intelligence and imagination.
Later, when Maggie falls in love with the handsome and passionate fiancé of her cousin and is caught in a compromising situation, she fears her relationship with Tom may never recover.
(P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Narrative makes the world go round.
I wish I could give this 4.5 stars, because most of the novel is classic Eliot, but I found much of the first third almost as "narrowly oppressive" as the life and characters she described - a little too much repeated exposition. The remainder contained Eliot's usual insights in to the human condiiton, advocacy of women, a pleasant 19th century love story, but a better than conventional ending.
Nadia May is an amazing storyteller. She gets into the characters' minds and represents their speech beautifully and beliveably. I highly recommend this audio version of this novel.
As for the novel itself: Although I was obligated to read it for a Victorian literature class it is a great read. It provides a unique picture of Victorian England's countryside. And Eliot is a master at capturing voice and of depicting childhood from a child's point of view.
The story is centered around the coming of age of Maggie Tulliver -- an clever, idealistic girl who longs for knowledge, acceptance and love.
This is a semi-biographical work so, it's a must-read if you want to know more about Eliot.
Of course, Nadia May did a fine job narrating this book. I really got miffed at Ms. Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)'s ending to The Mill on the Floss. It was some years before I could bring myself to open another of her books. In contrast, Charlotte Bronte graciously allows the reader to decide between a bitter or a sweet ending to Villette, Ms. Evans doesn't give the reader any room for ambiguity. Finally, I decided to exercise my sovereign power as reader to decide upon an ending more to my tastes. Having settled that issue, I was free to enjoy Middlemarch, Silas Marner, Adam Bede, et al.
In my version, the brother and sister survive to marry the persons of their dreams and live long and prosperously. So there George Eliot (Mary Ann or Marian Evans)! I like my ending better. And further, you are dead and can't do anything about it.
Say something about yourself!
I had to stop after the second chapter, for the fear of totally ruining the pleasure of listening to George Eliot's book. The screeching, croaking voice of the narrator was impossible to bear, and it prevented me from understanding what was going on. I bought the version narrated Laura Paton, and it was a wonderful listen. George Eliot's vividly and realistically depicted characters came to life in all their richness.
"A poor rendition of an old favourite"
Although I did listen to the audio sample of this one before buying it, I didn't realise quite how much Nadia May's voice was going to grate on me when I had to listen to it for nearly 20 hours! I understand that The Mill on the Floss is set in Lincolnshire, but the peculiar accent that Ms May put on for the characters was derived from no English region that I have ever known. The squeaky little voice she did for the young Maggie was particularly irritating. She would have done far better to read it straight, without attempting voices and accents. Still a great story, though.
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