This is a powerful and beautifully written novel, led by a main character who seemed everything right to me from the very first moment he is introduced to us. Daniel's personality is one of intense compassion and pathos.
I felt early on that the hardest thing for me to bear was his having to share the book with a "heroine" so entirely opposite of him in designs, history, and temperament. I understand the desirable foil of the two characters, but spending such a large portion of the beginning of the book on her pettiness, entirely unrelated to Deronda, left me bored enough that I considered setting the book aside.
I am very glad that I didn't! The intricate plot and and inherent mystery were very rewarding and the character of Deronda continued to be exactly as I hoped in every detail. Even Gwendolyn came to be a lovely, tragic piece of womanhood to me. Her character arc from selfishness to humiliation seemed all the more real for its being a slow and complex evolution.
In any case, the book is well worth the read, despite being so long: by the time I was two-thirds though the book, I could hardly put it down!