"As the child’s mind was growing into knowledge, his mind was growing into memory: as her life unfolded, his soul, long stupefied in a cold narrow prison, was unfolding too, and trembling gradually into full consciousness."Silas Marner, where do I even begin?
I want to say I hugged this book to my chest, and leave it at that. That, however, won’t be enough. When the Future Me (who I envision as a graceful champagne-drinking twenty-something with pearl earrings) reads this post, she will wonder at the laziness of Current Me. Now, I am all for making my future self proud.
On the surface, Silas Marner sounds like an incredibly boring book. *Dodges tomatoes hurled by angry book bloggers.* It’s about a weaver who was mistakenly accused of a crime he didn’t commit, and now lives alone in a rural community. His horde of gold is the great love of Silas’ life. When the gold is stolen and replaced by a golden-haired child, Silas Marner is forced to disentangle himself from his web of loneliness and reclusion.
Honestly, I thought I would HATE Silas Marner. The premise alone could put me to sleep, and I only read it because I thought it would be a great way (a short way, actually) to get acquainted with George Eliot’s work. I never thought I would be hooked by the first page. (I said this about Rebecca and To the Lighthouse, too. Will I ever learn my lesson?)
There’s a certain warmth and wit in the book—like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens thrown in together with a dash of something different. I was reminded of Charles Dickens by the bumbling/scheming characters (and their names), and Eliot’s descriptions of a particular romance in the novel screamed Jane Austen from miles away. And the warmth of the book? I owe it all to the characters. Most of them are incredibly endearing, like the barman who knows everything or the squire hell-bent on marrying off his eldest son.
I can actually see where he’s coming from. This might sound like a strange comparison, but the way Silas Marner feels about his gold is probably the same way I feel about my books. I know it’s not cool to be attached to objects, but, sometimes, when I just want to get away from people, I just take a look at my TBR pile and take a deep breath. Silas Marner counts his gold every night, while I never fail to run my fingers through the spines of the books I haven’t read yet, thrilled by the knowledge that I’ll get to them soon.
When Silas finally finds Eppie (the golden-haired child), I couldn’t have been happier for him. Finally, here was someone who could love him back, someone who could finally keep him company even for just a little while. I love the way she opened up his world, and encouraged the people around him to think that maybe, just maybe, they completely misunderstood Silas Marner.
Loved, loved, loved, Silas Marner.