Mary Gordon's Bookshelf
By George Eliot
In this 19th-century novel, Dorothea Brooke is a serious woman who makes a disastrous first marriage for the most idealistic reasons. We see her disillusionment—she realizes that the man she thought was wise is in fact mediocre. While her more blissful second union means that she can never fulfill her youthful dreams of social reform, I'm always satisfied to see the interesting, less conventional woman living better than the vain blonde.