Silas Marner at it's core is a story of loss, regret and redemption. The title character is a weaver who looses everything - his job, his love, and the respect of his community. Brokenhearted he leaves his home and moves to a land as different from all he knows as possible. He is looked upon with suspicion and fear by the residents of Raveloe, but allowed to live his life quietly and undisturbed. Then two events conspire to change everything. When he fully enters into the community and finds a renewed sense of peace and hope. Woven into his story is that of several others, all of whom shaped his life in some fashion, both directly and indirectly.
As was common at the time, Silas Marner was originally published as a serial, and it definitely read that way. The story moved slowly in the beginning, the author very clearly and precisely setting the scene before any real action happens. Then once things really got moving it felt almost rushed until what seemed a very abrupt conclusion. Usually you hear of people stating that an author could have stood to cut pages. That is definitely not the the case with this novel. Just the opposite. I think more could have been done with the story to take it from average to outstanding. So while I enjoyed reading it, I just wish there had been more.