Whats it all about?:
The chance discovery by a young peasant woman that she is a descendant of the noble family of d’Urbervilles is to change the course of her life. Tess Durbeyfield leaves home on the first of her fateful journeys, and meets the ruthless Alec d’Urberville. Thomas Hardy’s impassioned story tells of hope and disappointment, rejection and enduring love.
What did I think?:
I first came across Tess when I was in college but haven’t re-visited the novel until now. Is it because I was traumatised by Hardy? Not a chance, this novel is a complete classic that I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading. What first struck me about the writing is how Hardy paints the landscape so poetically, and is so descriptive of the surroundings that you could almost picture yourself there. (Amongst the cows…maybe trying a spot of milking?!)
As for our heroine Tess, have you ever met such an unlucky lass? Poor Tess, I really felt for her as she suffered through the novel. Yes, she is a bit innocent and naive, and the reader certainly gets a sense that Alec D’Urberville should not be trusted, but we should remember that she is a young, pious little thing. She attends church regularly, and helps her mother and father out with the smaller children, so most likely has not had much experience (if any) with naughty young gentlemen.
As for the end, which I won’t spoil, I think Hardy rounded everything off quite nicely. Although we may not like it, we have to admit this was always the way it was going to happen. Sigh!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):