Set in nineteenth-century England, this great novel of domestic realism sympathetically portrays a young woman's vain efforts to adapt to her provincial world. Maggie Tulliver, whose father owns a mill perched on the banks of the River Floss, is intelligent and imaginative beyond the understanding of her community, her relatives, and particularly her brother Tom. Despite their opposite temperaments, Maggie and Tom are united by a strong bond. But this bond suffers when Tom's sense of family honor leads him to forbid her to associate with the one friend who appreciates her intelligence and imagination. Later, when Maggie falls in love with the handsome and passionate fiancé of her cousin and is caught in a compromising situation, she fears her relationship with Tom may never recover.