I was quite disappointed upon reading My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. I did finish the whole book giving it the benefit of the doubt. I was quite bored reading it though. Some parts were interesting, but mostly the allure didn't last long.
This isn't as much of a memoir/autobiography of Rebecca Mead as it promises. From what I read of the blurbs and summary is I thought it would be about how reading Middlemarch throughout Mead's life she would explain how it shaped her. Instead this is mostly a biography of famous historical author George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans. Mead writes many observations on Eliot's real life mostly going over what Eliot wrote in her journal as Mary Ann Evan's (Eliots real name), Eliot's books, what Mead has learned of Eliot through the years through research, etc.
This book is mostly made up of observations and thoughts on Eliot, her books and the characters that lie therein.
I was hoping for more substance into HOW Middlemarch shaped Mead's life. Various incidences and not just thoughts on the book itself. Mead gives a few tidbits here and there to how she related to Middlemarch at various points in her life, and how she compares herself to Eliot. But they are few and far between. When she does speak on her own life it is without the passion that she uses to speak on Eliot's life.
I did appreciate Mead's intelligent analysis on Middlemarch by George Eliot. When it comes to books, especially historical it is very interesting to wonder what the author's life was like. How the author put their own family, friends, and even themselves into their famous works. That is mostly what Mead talks about in the book comparing Middlemarch to the actual life of George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). It is very easy for most of us readers to identify with books we read. Often books we read affects our lives especially the more profound ones.
If you have read Middlemarch by George Eliot I do recommend this book. It gives more insight into George Eliot in a way that is more personal compared to a study book or such. Mead definitely knows her history when it comes to George Eliot which was a great bonus.
However, if you are looking for a good memoir that gives tons of information on someone's personal life this may not be the book for you. There are tidbits here and there like I said, but nothing substantial in which I think this book should be defined as an autobiography. A Biography is more fitting since this gives more information on George Eliot than Rebecca Mead.
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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a blogging for books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.