I finished the book last week, and I'm still mulling it over, letting the many themes of the story sift down through my mind. In some ways, I didn't like the ending -- too sudden, too inconclusive, too shocking. I wanted Maggie to go on living, growing, changing the world -- because she could have been an agent for wonderful change in her stifling community. I loved her character, but disliked most of the others, except for lovable Bob Jakin and the minister (but even he seemed too weak to stand up to the hypocrisy of his parishoners).
I read a few scholarly articles about the book, but I sort of wish I didn't. They were very opinionated articles, and they cast a shadow over my feelings about the book. However, it's good, I guess, to get other's views on the book -- sort of like meeting in a George Eliot book club.
What I should do is go back over the book, rereading passages and chapters. I'm sure new lights would be shed on the meaning of this wonderful novel.