[Review] Adam Bede by George Eliot

Publisher and Publication Date: Oxford University Press. My edition is 2008. Originally published in 1859.
Genre: Fiction. Classic British literature. Victorian.
Pages: 592.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of classic literature. Readers of George Eliot stories. Readers of classic British literature.
Rating: Excellent.


Link for more information from Oxford University Press. This is a direct link to the book: Adam Bede.

Link for the book @ Amazon. I don’t understand why the paperback is $51.64! The Kindle edition is .99 cents.

Link for the book @ Barnes and Noble. $13.95.

The I copy read and reviewed is from the final edition, 1861.

George Eliot (1819-1880) is the pen name. Mary Ann Evans is the author’s name. Goodreads‘ author page.

Further links:


An article from BBC. The genius who scandalized society.


The year is 1799. England.

Adam and Seth Bede are brothers who live in a farming community near the village of Hayslope. Early in the story their father dies. Adam and Seth continue farming the land. Their mother is Lisbeth Bede.

Adam is in love with a local girl, Hetty Sorrel.

Hetty is a lovely girl. She is focused on the luxuries of the world. Things she like to have but does not. She has romantic notions in her head that are not realistic.

A young woman, Dinah Morris, is a traveling Methodist preacher.

The plot is Hetty and her choices and consequences of those choices which impact Adam, Dinah, and her family.

My Thoughts:

Adam Bede is the first book to read in Nick’s 2023 George Eliot Chapter-a-Day Read-a-Along. In this reading challenge, I read a chapter a day in a George Eliot book. By the end of the year, most of her major works will be read. The next book is Mill on the Floss. I have already began reading this book. This is the second time to read this book. I have two additional books I’d like to read in 2023. One is a biography, George Eliot: A Life by Rosemary Ashton. The second is Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot.

This is the first time to read Adam Bede. I read (several years ago) Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner.

Adam Bede is a soft, tender, and gentle story. Even though there are sad and harsh themes. The story has many moments of great tenderness.

Dinah Morris is my favorite character. However, I dislike her moments of presumption. A couple of strong character traits is she is insightful and wise. She is a deep thinker. This often leads her to ponder people and what may happen to them. It is possible Eliot used Morris as a way to give insight about Hetty’s character or a way to prepare the reader for what may happen. But I can relate to Dinah, and this is why I can state what a drawback it is to have her character traits. I am not always correct in my assumptions/presumptions. I pray about my attitude in casting doubt on a person when I don’t really know them and what I think may happen does not. Only God knows a person’s heart and motives and thoughts.

What I love about Dinah is her gentleness. Her sweet spirit. She is tender. Such beautiful writing surrounds Dinah. It’s as if the radiance of her spirit shines in her countenance. The people certainly respond well to her. They trust her. She is a remarkable book character. I looked forward to all the scenes and dialogues surrounding Dinah.

Adam is both a handsome man and a solid character. I believe he has the best of intentions. I believe he wants to do the right thing-the noble thing.

Seth is a secondary character that loses steam. I don’t see much of him in the story except in the beginning.

Hetty is a headstrong girl. She is beautiful, young, and impressionable. She is a young girl who has not had a mother to raise and prepare her for life’s challenges and disappointments.

Sometimes, Eliot interjects her own thoughts about the story and its characters. Most of the time the story moves chronologically allowing the character’s dialogue and scenes to develop.

I notice Eliot uses strong descriptions to set a scene, and often using the same words. For example, the sun, light, and reflection.

Eliot mentions facial expressions, thoughts, body language, and the countenance of people.

Adam Bede is an enjoyable story. It does have sad moments. It has a solid satisfying conclusion.

Adam Bede is a story of internal conflicts.

Some themes in Adam Bede: male and female romantic relationships, death, honor, conformity, wisdom, pride, gratitude, charity, hope, dreams, temptation, self-control, grief, judgment, innocence, and ambition.

Favorites quotes from the book:

“Dinah had been speaking at least an hour, and the reddening light of the parting day seemed to give a solemn emphasis to her closing words. The stranger, who had been interested in the course of her closing sermon, as if it had been the development of a drama-for there is this sort of fascination in all sincere unpremeditated eloquence, which opens to one the inward drama of the speaker’s emotions-now turned his horse aside and pursued his way, while Dinah said, ‘Let us sing a little, dear friends;’ and as he was still winding down the slope, the voices of the Methodists reached him, rising and falling in that strange blending of exultation and sadness which belongs to the cadence of a hymn.” Page 30.

“Everything was looking at its brightest at this moment, for the sun shone right on the pewter dishes, and from their reflecting surfaces pleasant jets of light were thrown on mellow oak and bright brass;-and on a still pleasanter object than these; for some of the rays fell on Dinah’s finely-molded cheek, and lit up her pale red hair to auburn, as she bent over the heavy household linen which she was mending for her aunt. No scene could have been more peaceful, if Mrs. Poyser, who was ironing a few things that still remained from the Monday’s wash, had not been making a frequent clunking with her iron, and moving to and fro whenever she wanted it to cool; carrying the keen gland of her blue-grey eyes from the kitchen to the dairy, where Hetty was making up the butter, and from the dairy to the back-kitchen, where Nancy was taking the pies out of the oven.” Page 67.

“When death, the great Reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.” Page 49.


The Sunday Salon

The week started off with stormy weather (a few tornadoes) and a cold for both me and my husband. It is not a sinus infection. It is not the flu. It is not Covid related. It is a cold. We are both better, but still have lingering symptoms. This has been a season where I have had sinus allergy or cold stuff since a few days before Halloween. I’m ready for it to vacate my head.

I chose not to put up a Christmas tree this year. I don’t miss it. I love Christmas trees. I love looking at them. I enjoyed decorating them in the past. We have 4 cats. That is the big reason for not having a Christmas tree, it’s the ordeal of having 4 cats removing ornaments, eating things they should not, and the everyday chore of picking up items from the floor they removed from the tree. Plus, I don’t have the heart to ask my husband to go up in the attic and get down the artificial tree, only to put it back up there in a few weeks. That tree is the only thing kept in the attic.

I’ve decorated the house with a few items that are festive. I listen to Christmas music most days. I am watching Christmas movies, especially the classic ones.

For those of you who blog, do you visit the blogs that follow you or you follow them? Do you wait until they like or leave a comment on a blog post and then visit them?

On Saturday mornings, I receive emails from 40 plus blogs that I follow. Instead of getting an email every time a blog posts, I get a weekly digest. It is one of the first things I do on Saturday mornings: I read through, like, or comment on those blogs. I have a few that come to me in emails as soon as they are posted during the week, but most arrive in the weekly digest.

Some blogs post 1 or 2 times a week. Some blogs post multiple times a week and sometimes more than once per day. This means a lot of blog posts I look through in that once-a-week digest.

The more graphics on a blog page, the longer it takes to load the page.

Some blogs do not have a like button on the email, but if I click on comment, I will be taken to the blog post and can like or comment.

One of the big takeaways from reading all those blog posts is bloggers who write book reviews work hard at blogging about books. The amount of time and commitment that goes into blogging is created and developed from a big heart that loves books and reading. I’m proud of all of you my fellow bloggers and readers.

Are you signing up for reading challenges in 2023. I’ve committed to one, the George Eliot Chapter a Day Reading. This is the link if you are interested. I have the book, Adam Bede. I printed out the reading schedule. I’m ready.

This link is a one stop place to find reading challenges in 2023: Girl XOXO/Master List of Reading Challenges.

The Salon Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.

Nick’s 2023 George Eliot Chapter-a-Day Read-along

Good Monday morning after a long holiday weekend. In reading my email this morning, I came across a blog hosting a reading challenge/read along for 2023. If you are interested and want to read about this well-organized project: Nick’s 2023 George Eliot Chapter-a-Day Read along.

The first book that will be read is Adam Bede.

I’ve actually read in the past 3 of the books in this reading schedule (many years ago). I am planning to read them again plus the others. I’m most looking forward to reading Middlemarch. And I believe 2023 is the year to read a biography of George Eliot that has been sitting on my dusty bookshelf for several years. I’m so excited about this read along!

I am posting the link again. In the post, there are additional links to read the books free online, so you do not have to purchase the books.


Happy Reading!

Chunkster Reading Challenge Check-in

I’m proud of the participants in the Chunkster Reading Challenge 2021! I’ve had several send links for the books they’ve read in this challenge.

I thought it would be fun to write a post about world famous chunkster size books!

It is reported the largest handmade book in the world is in Hungary. It takes six people to turn the page! This was reported in 2020.
Link to read more about the huge book: World’s Largest Book.

Some of the longest novels:
The Stand, uncut edition, by Stephen King. This book has 1,152 pages.
It by Stephen King has 1,138 pages.
Under the Dome by Stephen King. It has 1,074 pages.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book has 1,088 pages.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. This book has 1,462 pages.
Venmurasu by Jeyamohan. This book has 22,400 pages.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. This book has 1,456 pages.

If you type in the search space “big books” on YouTube, you will find several videos of people who are giving pointers on how to read a big book. Their helpful advice is for those readers intimidated by big books.

My favorites are these two:



Do you have a particular system when you read BIG books?
I place a small post-it note at every 100th page. My goal is to read to that point in one sitting, and then I work to read to the next point at the next sitting. My biggest problem is I read multiple books during the same period, and sometimes those books that are not being read for review (for a publisher or book tour company) gets pushed off to read later.

At this time, I am reading the following chunkster books:
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This book has 622 pages.
The Land Beyond The Sea by Sharon Kay Penman. This book has 688 pages.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. This book has 608 pages.
The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia. This book has 496 pages.

Chunkster Reading Challenge 2021

Chunkster Reading Challenge 2021
Host: Annette @ Impressions in Ink
Duration: January 1 to December 31, 2021
Amount: The number of books read or audiobooks is up to you. The amount of pages in the book is the important guideline. The books must have 450 pages or greater to be a chunkster.

Sign-up by leaving a comment on this blog post.

List of my books read for this challenge:

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Page count 608. This review was posted July 16, 2021.

2. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Page count 634. This review was posted July 17, 2021.

3. Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Major Works. Page count 480. This review was posted August 7, 2021.