Classic Book Review: The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy

4 out of 5 stars

In a drunken rage, Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter to a sailor for five guineas. Once he is sober, Henchard bitterly repents of his deed and searches for his wife and child, but to no avail. Over the passing years, Henchard’s fortunes change and he becomes a successful businessman and mayor of the town of Casterbridge. He is well-respected and lives a peaceful life, until his wife returns with a teenage daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, and his old secrets begin to haunt him.

I love Hardy’s writing style! He really knows how to tell a dramatic story in a beautiful rural setting. There is something so vivid and immediate in his writing that draws you into the emotions of every scene.

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Book Review: Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her ‘cousin’ Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. – GoodReads Description

I love Hardy’s writing style, but what brand of stupidity is this story?!? I got so frustrated with the characters, and the plot is just so depressing and horrible at every turn. Nothing nice happens. Ever! Continue reading

Book Review: Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This classic tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene, a young farm owner, and the three men who are in love with her. She has to make some difficult choices, some of which bring tragedy to her life, but ultimately she finds true love.

As with most classics, there is a lot of setup in the first chapters, but once the story gets going, it really moves along! Towards the middle and end, I was gasping and crying and laughing my head off. It’s definitely a wild story at times, and so brilliantly written.

Hardy has a reputation for writing depressing stuff, and there were some terrible depressing scenes that had me crying and horrified. But the ending is happy, so I was buoyed up again. Continue reading