Hmph. The snobby introduction to my copy of Pride and Prejudice was wrong. I actually did like George Eliot's writing, rather than "grudgingly respect[ing]" it.
Anyhoo, Silas Marner is a redemption story of sorts, about a man who was basically kicked out of his hometown, and now lives in a village where he weaves to make a living. Over time, Silas accumulates a lot of money and hordes it like a miser. Then one night, his gold is stolen. Then on another night, his 'treasure' returns, but in the form of a little girl who he adopts.
This book is very short (the kindle said 190 pages), and the plot is simple. But the writing is rich in imagery, and the characters (for the most part) are well-written. Silas was of course, my favorite, and his development is lovely. It's very sad to see this caring and loving man slowly turn his heart to stone, and it's satisfying when the love that was there all along starts to shine through the cracks. Okay, that was mushy and sentimental, but in all fairness, the book was kind of like that too. Not at all in a bad way though.
Little Eppie (the toddler that literally wanders into Silas' life) on the other hand, well, I've got a little beef with her. For starters, she's totally perfect. Even as a toddler, when she gets into scrapes it's cute and adorable. Seriously? Back in Late April/Early May, when we were visiting friends, I watched over a gang of little girls. Most of the time they were precious and darling, but you know what? Toddlers have tantrums. No matter how virtuous they grow up to be, toddlers will have fits. And you know, when that happens, sometimes they have to be [gasp] punished. And yet the book states that Eppie was raised without needing punishment. Wha?!?
But I did like how at the end, Eppie's real (and rich) father shows up to try and get her to come with him and be an upper-class gentleman's daughter (Her real father isn't bad, he just wanted to do something for his daughter). However, Eppie loves Silas as the only parent she's ever known, and chooses to stay with him. That was lovely, and really, I'm kind of a sucker for Silas and Eppie's relationship. I know how sentimental that makes me, but hey. It's not like my heart is totally made of stone.
The Verdict: B+
I deducted points for the rather rushed ending, and the miracle tot.
But the writing was lovely, and Silas was a great character, and I definitely feel like reading it again sometime. :)