After finishing -- and loving -- Howards End,
Delycia and I have started on this wonderful novel, which I have read more than a few times. So far, we love the careful characterization.
Eliot has clearly established each character as a distinct and unique person, making us dislike a few and love and admire a few. Mr. Casaubon, of course, is a character whom no reader has ever liked, and the author does a wonderful job of bringing his unsavory qualities into a strong light. On the other hand, we love Mr. Brooke, a stumbling, bumbling, winsome, unpredictable, and always kindly gentleman. We look forward to following Mr. Brooke as the story unfolds, perhaps admiring him more and more, and perhaps -- lucky us -- uncovering the secret of his charm, so that we might borrow some of it for ourselves. (I've always felt that reading great books makes us better people.)
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