In a way, I’m glad that I knew essentially nothing about the author George Eliot prior to reading “The Honeymoon” as, because of this, it allowed me to dive into this story with no preconceived notions. While this novel is historical fiction and not a biography by any means, it was full of factual information about the life of George Eliot, also know as Mariam Evans.
One of my favorite parts of this novel is how inspiring and ahead of her times, George Eliot was. This novel begins with Ms. Eliot on her honeymoon with her new, and much younger husband, John Walter Cross. From there the novel weaves through major points in Eliot’s history from her childhood to the present. We learn of a young, intelligent girl written off as a spinster for her appearance and brains who desperately craves love and approval of others, particularly men. One of the most profound events of her life was meeting George Lewes with whom she had a 20-year “marriage” before his death. In him, as told by this author, she found her equal.
Dinitia Smith, the author of this novel, did a fantastic job of bringing this wonderful historical figure, and a true inspiration, to life both in the language used in this novel as well as in the exquisite details provided. I have always been of the opinion that some of the best books, especially those grounded in fact such as this novel, are the ones that once complete you immediately want to know everything about the person and read everything they have ever written. This novel did that for me.