by Rebecca Mead
narrated by Kate Reading
Blackstone Audio, 2014
9 hours and 37 minutes
One-sentence summary: (from publisher)
A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth - Middlemarch - and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories.
When I first read Middlemarch in 2014, my intention was to immediately follow up with My Life in Middlemarch. Now here I am, three years later, finally getting to it... and if not for audible's recent BOGO sale, it might have taken even longer .
Mead's book is an interesting blend of memoir, biography, and literary criticism. And the writing is excellent, too. Learning a little about George Eliot's life was an unexpected bonus that's left me wanting to read more. It's also probably time to revisit Middlemarch.
The audio version is masterfully read by Kate Reading, a veteran narrator with hundreds of credits to her name. I've enjoyed several over years and it was a pleasure to spend my morning beach walks listening to this book.
A few favorite lines:
"Only a child believes a grown-up has stopped growing."
"A book may not tell us exactly how to live our own lives, but our lives can teach us how to read a book."
"Middlemarch permits the reader to imagine other possible directions its characters might take, leading to entirely different futures, and as so often in life, love is the crossroads."Bottom line:
My Life in Middlemarch is a wonderful book, despite its arguably narrow appeal. If you've read Middlemarch, you really owe it to yourself to read (or listen to) Mead's book.