“Daniel Deronda” is a mixture of social satire and moral searching, along with a sympathetic rendering of Jewish proto-Zionist and Kaballistic ideas, that has made it a controversial final statement of George Eliot, one of the greatest of Victorian novelists.
The story concerns with the destinies of two characters: Gwendolen Harleth, the spoiled and selfish elder daughter of a widow, and Daniel Deronda, the adopted child of an English aristocrat.
In order to avoid poverty as her family approaches destitution, Gwendolen agrees to marry Henleigh Grandcourt. She is fully aware that he has children by his mistress and that his mistress has a prior claim to him. Not surprisingly, the marriage proves unhappy. Gwendolen finds herself drawn for spiritual guidance to Deronda.
Deronda, who has rescued from suicide a Jewish girl, Mirah Lepidoth, gradually discovers a dense Jewish world through Mirah and her brother, Mordecai. Along the way, Deronda learns that he, too, is a Jew. The novel ends with his determination to seek and pursue his racial and religious roots in Palestine.