Join us at our new location on the Marigny for a discussion of "SILAS MARNER" by George Eliot, 1861. Byrdie's Cafe' and Studio, one block past Healing Center, same side, coming from downtown.
BOOK SYNOPSIS: Engrossing tale — with a heartwarming denouement — of a lonely and embittered country weaver whose life is drastically changed when he becomes the guardian of an orphaned child. A masterly portrait of moral and psychological behavior in Victorian England, widely hailed for its brevity and perfection of form.
170 pages. Used copies on amazon.com for a penny before shipping; free on Kindle. Available in most local bookstores and all libraries.
For more info, call/text/email Guy Henoumont at[masked] or at [masked].
Also invited: the New Orleans Book Club meetup group.
ONE CUSTOMER REVIEW ON AMAZON:
A book for all times, but not for all readers April 5, 2001 By Susan E. Hallander
How can you ensure that a person will hate a book? Answer: Make her read it for 7th grade English class, make sure that the language is old-fashioned, and above all, make sure that the ideas and concepts are over her head. If that's what happened to you, and that's why you have an aversion to Silas Marner, and you are now over 30, pick it up again. Read it twice. Silas Marner is one of the greatest novels in the English language.
Yes, it starts out sad, as our pathetic hero looses both his trust in humanity and his faith in God. But the power of love replaces his lust for money, and wins out in the end. Meanwhile, morally poor but financially rich, high-living Godfrey Cass provides a counterpoint to simple Silas. At the end there's a surprise when the fate of Godfrey's evil brother is revealed.
When you're all done, before you file Silas Marner on the shelf, go back and read the paragraph about Silas' thoughts when he discovers that his hordes of coins are missing. If you have ever felt sudden extreme loss, you will recognize the stages of despair from disbelief to acceptance "like a man falling into dark water." Which is why this book is not suitable for children, and is most appreciated by those who have undergone their own moral redemption.
Silas has been the inspiration for many other characters, including Dicken's Scrooge. He has been portrayed in movies, including "A Simple Twist of Fate" starring Steve Martin. But none is as good as the original. If you haven't read it since junior high, try it again. Silas Marner is an excellent book. There's a gem of human understanding in every chapter.