Top positive review
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An amazing feminist novel from 1859!
on June 4, 2005
It was her last completed book, always in the shadow of Jane Eyre. It was insightful, irreverent, angry, tragic, funny, bizarre, gothic and wonderfully honest. At the time, the novel was harshly criticized by men, even feminist men like George Eliot's lover. But George Eliot herself and Virginia Wolf believed it to be her best work.
How unusual first of all to have a heroine like Lucy Snowe, not of noble blood, not rich, not charming, not even good-looking as women (esp in the Victorian period) were expected to be. Like the other characters, she is flawed, contradictory and multi-faceted in a way one rarely sees in literature but continually witnesses in real life. Yet she is decidedly brilliant, original and imaginative like no other. Unconventional and delightfully subversive!
In many ways, this is a truly modern novel to this day. I've never read a novel that so honestly and unflinchingly captures the plight of a woman-artist making her own way in the world despite the obstacles thrown in her path.