Adam Bede by George Eliot
The English Midlands at the turn of the eighteenth century is the setting for George Eliot's moving novel of three unworldly people trapped by unwise love. Adam Bede, a simple carpenter, loves too blindly; Hetty Sorrel, a coquettish beauty, loves too recklessly; and Arthur Donnithorne, a dashing squire, loves too carelessly. Betrayed by their innocence, vanity, and imprudence, their foolish hearts lead them to a tragic triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution. With emotional sincerity and intellectual integrity, George Eliot probes deeply into the psychology of commonplace people caught in the act of uncommon heroics. Alexandre Dumas called this novel "the masterpiece of the century."