Daniel Deronda Review
I think that part of the reason why I have enjoyed some of the Dickens and Eliot books so much is because I am quite unfamiliar with the stories. I also greatly enjoy the writing style; so much so, in fact, that I do not have to love the characters (or many of them at least) to enjoy the book.
I would have liked Daniel Deronda far more if not for his-not-truly-honorable interactions with Gwendolen. Sometimes it is enough for actions to be bad if they look bad. Gwendolen had no reason to have confidences with a man not related to her and not her husband, and Deronda had no business receiving them.
Gwendolen was obnoxious. Grandcourt was awful, but I think that Gwendolen deserved some awful. I hate the might-have-been implied/hinted at between Deronda and Gwendolen although I was relieved that he never actually liked her too much. But still. I hate salvation separations from outside or offensive party’s side! And the Deronda/Gwendolen interludes are so intense especially compared to the (far fewer) depicted interactions with Daniel and Mirah.
Mordecai is rather weird and the Hebrew issues are disturbing, particularly as religions are portrayed relatively. There are some passages that are freakishly prophetic though.
I liked Hans and Sir Hugo although they are underdeveloped characters.
There are some humorous incidental sentences that made it into my quote book. I am not sure that I will reread this novel though; I found it interesting and enjoyable, but I preferred Middlemarch and Adam Bede.
I've only seen the screen adaptation, but definitely had the same feelings about Gwendolyn and Daniel. I should definitely try reading, since you like the writing style so much, and compare Eliot with Dickens!
I do not think Eliot and Dickens are similar per say, but I just enjoyed not knowing the plot. Eliot is much heavier, without much humor.
Oh, okay, I understand… it's hard for me to imagine heavier than Dickens! Still, I think I'll give Eliot a try if I get a chance.
Try a couple of her novels. The first one I read (Silas Marner) I did not like, but I know others who do like it very much. I was not crazy about Amos Barton either. I had to warm up to Middlemarch but ended up enjoying it greatly.