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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2012
This is the story of two brothers Adam and Seth Bede but really more about the former than the latter.

Adam and Seth Bede are both carpenters and Adam is a true master of his trade and can turn his hand to anything. He is loved by all for his honesty, lack of guile and for his hard work.

Adam falls in love with an empty headed but pretty young girl called Hetty who is the niece of a local Farmer. She however has fallen in love with the grandson of the local Squire.
Things take their course and eventually Adam catches them together and forces Arthur the young Squire to give her up, which he does but it is too late for poor Hetty. She eventually accepts Adam's hand in marriage but days before they are to be married she disappears. I won't say too much here because it would be a spoiler.

Also in their lives is a young Methodist preacher by the name of Dinah. Seth is in love with her but his love is not reciprocated so he settles for her just being his friend.

There is a lot of the 'vernacular' used in the book particularly by Seth and Adam's Mother which is a bit difficult to work out but persist dear reader and you will work it out.

This is George Eliot's first book and is every bit as good as 'her' later works if not better in some cases.

Really it is a story of unrequited love, death, dishonour and a young girl who has had her head turned to her ultimate destruction.

A brilliant read and very highly recommended.
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on 22 July 2016
A life-affirming novel, beautifully written. George Eliot presents a rural community with understanding and conviction. A remarkable number of memorable characters, each with his own personality and outlook, presented cogently and convincingly, without sentimentality or stereotyping. Middlemarch was the next stage but there's something satisfying about Adam Bede's more modest scope: had Middlemarch not been written, we would regard this is as one of the finest nineteenth century novels. Readers will argue about the decisions she makes in the final chapters but throughout what impresses most is George Eliot's compassionate intelligence, her insight into what makes people tick, how different minds think and feel, and her faith in the essential decency of human beings.
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on 19 June 2016
Love Adam, top man, Seth, possibly even more of a man ( when all was said and done) the Mothers in this book are pretty amusing I think. If you like Charles Dickens, no reason why you wouldn't like this book, I suppose characters not quite as interesting but by half way through I couldn't put it down, love story, family bonds, historical. I know it's a study of "fallen women" to some, but I read it literally to just to read it, great book.
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on 6 March 2013
This is George Eliot's first major novel but it is by no means an apprentice effort. She writes so well and her sympathy for her characters and the society in which they live is so apparent that the reader is carried forwardwith the narrative. My sole reservation is that some of the characters not fully realised so as to be convincing.

My reason for writing a review of this well known classic is chiefly to draw attention to the note in the General Introduction:
"We strongly advise you to enjoy this book before turning to the Introduction." This is because the Introduction itself, which is very interesting, gives away some of the "surprises, secrets and revelations" contained in the narrative. This warning should, I think, be given much greater prominence by the publishers, Wordsworth Classics, to whom it must be said we readers owe a great debt for publishing this and many other classic works of fiction.
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on 30 October 2016
Another classical author that has passed me by. I think this must have been quite controversial when first published, Hetty finding herself as an unmarried mother, but I found Adam a sympathetic character. I shall seek out other works by Eliot now.
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VINE VOICEon 5 June 2015
Having listened to this on Radio 4 as the classic serial I was so pleased to see it available for kindle download. You really do get the essence of what the author is writing, because with all adaptations, there is always another person's interpretations.

I am pleased I now have time to rediscover George Eliots novels!
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on 12 November 2012
As a member of a book group this was one of our reads for this year. Difficult to know what to say about the book. I haven't read any other George Eliot. The pace is very slow and this fits in well with the setting of rural England at the end of the 18th century. The story is good and the picture of rural England is charming and beautiful, but it is no page turner. The Wordsworth Classics edition is fine. I am glad I have read it, but I needed time to get through it. As I said in my banner, very good but very slow.
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As always a very moralistic story so quite dark set in rural countryside and peopled by many engaging chracters. There are many themes to the story - the Methodists and their lay preachers, some women; the relationships between landlords and the farmers/villagers. The fall from grace of a pretty village girl flattered by the attentions of the landlord's grandson which has tragic consequences for all concerned. I felt a little sorry for Seth (Adam's brother) who loses the girl he loves to his brother and so ends up always fulfilling the role of uncle rather than having children of his own.
This is the first Geo. Elliot book I have ever read - and I am a 'mature' reader - so I have been inspired to try another book by this author.
The only problems I have had reading this book on the Kindle Touch is that there seems to be some misprints of the text which can be a little annoying as you end up trying to put in the right word, as well as Betty for Hetty. Heather Robertson, Edinburgh.
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on 7 October 2017
Great (if sentimental) novel. Eliot has a deep insight into human frailties, but is always compassionate towards her characters.
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on 29 June 2015
A rural tale which twists and turns through a beautifully described pastoral setting. Eliot's trademark moral stance is there although this is reinforced by a genuine interest in all humanity. Some wonderful nuggets of humour and attention to detail.
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