The Mill on the Floss is a classic, written in 1860 by George Eliot.
It took me a while to read, but not because it wasn’t worth reading.
The story follows one family’s struggle in English society. The main characters are Maggie and Tom, sister and brother, and the dynamics of the story are illustrated by the different temperaments between the two. Tom is loyal and focused on honoring and remembering the past while still escaping it. Maggie, while also loyal, would rather move on and forget the past, but that loyalty she has wont allow her to break ties with her past, because that means breaking ties with her brother, whom she has idolized since childhood.
This story is the kind I like, I have to confess, where the heroine struggles from chapter one, and in the end, she may or may not be victorious (spoiler: she isn’t victorious).
It also explores several other themes: how family grudges effect other generations, how passivity can have significant consequences, and how following your conscience isn’t always an easy choice.
It took me a long time to finish the book, but it was worth it. There are many aspects of the story that are relatable still: opinionated family, the need for acceptance, forbidden love and the quest to find the balance between independence and family unity.