This one deserves 10 stars, it is really one of the most incredible books I've ever read. I think I've only given a brilliant rating to the Count of Monte Cristo and Bleak House. This is a fascinating character study of the people of Middlemarch, a town in Victorian England. I can't even begin to try to describe the story -- there is Dorothea who makes a dreadful first marriage to an older man, Dr. Lydgate and his disastrous relationship and marriage to the self-centered Rosamund, Fred Vincy and Mary, and much much more.
The way the author pulls her story and characters together is incredible, and the insight into the characters is nothing short of brilliant. To quote from the book jacket and Virginia Wolf "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."
Just be warned, this is not a sit on the edge of your seat, can't put it down until it's finished type of novel. This is a story to savour and enjoy the multi-faceted characters and the author's glorious prose like a fine red wine or a box of chocolates (or both). If you are looking for high action and adventure, this is not the book for you. Highly recommended for any lover of 19th century English literature, not as dark and brooding as Hardy can be, but the prose is just as lovely, if not better.