All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

To make it easier to purchase books you may read about on the blog, I've linked to through The Cats and a Book Bookstore, which is located on the bottom of this page. Your purchases are fulfilled and handled through Amazon. To assure your privacy, Cats and a Book doesn't handle any of your payment or contact information.

Happy reading!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Silas Marner, by George Eliot

Silas Marner, by George Eliot, is the classic story of a weaver who is framed for a crime he did not commit. He loses his faith, his best friend, and his town, and leaves to begin anew far away. He re-establishes his business, although he elects to have limited interaction with the townspeople and lives on the settlement’s outskirts. He hoards the money he earns from weaving, spending his evenings counting and sorting it for pleasure.

His life takes another unfortunate turn when the son of a local rich man and well-known ne’er-do-well robs Marner of his gold to escape his debts. Silas is further embittered by the loss, until he finds an orphaned toddler girl, who has wandered to his door. He takes the child to raise as his own, and she becomes the gold and treasure he lost to the thief. The townspeople begin to assist Marner, offering advice on raising Eppie, the little girl, providing clothes, and offering to help teach her the skills Marner is unable to. The girl eventually learns about her biological father, the brother of the ne’er-do-well who stole Marner’s treasure, who offers to acknowledge her as his daughter and raise him as his own.

Eliot’s Marner is a story of redemption: of faith, community, and treasure, whether it is gold or the love of a child. Marner is a sympathetic character, and Eliot metes out a level of justice to her characters according to their values.

Silas Marner was published in 1911 by Henry Holt and Company.

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