This book requires a bit of effort and dedication; it’s not for the faint of heat. The writing is witty, and the characters are fully fleshed. You are totally immersed in the world of the 1830s with all its trials and tribulations.
The closest thing I can compare this book to is Jane Austen’s Emma, centering as it does on town life, relationships and reputations. I could extend the comparison to any of Jane Austen’s works I suppose, but they differ in their methods and their purposes. Jane Austen entertains while George Eliot instructs, bringing the reader over to her own humanist philosophies. Her work is longer and goes deeper; every character you’re introduced to has their own story and is a dynamic character in their own right. It is a messy, complicated world, but so rewarding.