First published in 1861, The Mill on the Floss was a best-seller in its day. This classic novel explores the traditions and moral expectations of an English rural community. Maggie Tulliver is a girl of uncontrollable romantic ideals. But her brother, along with most of society, cannot accept her brashness and vitality. Narrator Jill Tanner gracefully unfolds this tragic tale of love and loss.
This novel has no great relevance to modern Americans, but you'd never guess it from Jill Tanner's narration. Here we get a lengthy, discursive account of the love between siblings Tom and Maggie, scions of a country miller in the mid-1800s, surrounding the story of how they dealt with many trials while growing into young adults, how they became estranged, and how they reconciled seconds before their tragic deaths. Tanner vividly animates the characters, making them seem familiar and worthy of our concern. She also makes apparent the charm, humor, grace, compassion, and subtlety in Eliot's work, which so often elude today's readers. Through Tanner, the virtues that captivated Eliot's contemporaries and still keep her books in print come into sharp focus.
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Poignant, relevant, love Jill Tanner's narration
I haven't read the print version so can't compare. However, the narrator, Jill Tanner, of the audio edition goes way above and beyond standard narration. Indeed, she makes the book almost a dramatic performance. With her beautiful, contralto voice, Tanner is able to even create characters with individual sounding voices. Truly remarkable.
So relevant today, even though written 150 years ago. The prose is beautiful.
She gives a performance of the book. Her elocution is perfect. She's able to create what could be local-sounding British accents of the day. Very entertaining.
Yes. It made me cry. Having experienced some major "troubles" in life, it was wonderful to read of others who have struggled.
Surprise of the Season
I am not quite willing to go that far, BUT I am getting so much more of the humor and sarcasm of the author than I would have gotten had I read the print version. Listening slows me down and makes me much more aware of the author's skill and appreciative of the narration than I would be with a traditional read!
I have enjoyed the author's revealing how Maggie is trapped by circumstances and her environment.
I have come to appreciate the stories I have read about books like this novel or ones by Dickens being read aloud in a group to a family circle. Although I am a huge fan of listening to audiobooks in general and Audible in particular, with this novel, the listening has been even more productive than a conventional reading would have been. I am...surprised by the pleasure of a classic.