Making masterful use of a counter pointed plot, Eliot presents the stories of a number of denizens of a small English town on the eve of the Reform Bill of 1832. The main characters, Dorothea Brooke and Tertius Lydgate, each long for exceptional lives but are powerfully constrained by their own unrealistic expectations as well as conservative society. The novel is notable for its deep psychological insight and sophisticated character portraits.
I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading Middlemarch but I am glad that I read it as a grown woman. It's beauty, wisdom, and insight might have been lost to me at an age when I looked for romance and happy endings and much preferred Jane Austen. Middlemarch is just wonderful. A lifelong friend now that I have come to know it.