Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hardy’

“Tis because we be on a blighted star, and not a sound one, isn’t it Tess?”

– Abraham, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


I have just read “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy. I have never read it before now, and not even studied it at school like some people have, so i thought it was time to give it a go!

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (via Amazon)

I felt sad for Tess because, as the oldest daughter, she was inevitably going to be forced to make a good marriage to help support her big family. The issue of finding out that she was probably a descendant of the once rich and noble d’Urbervilles turns out to be a blessing and a curse. This poor girl is forced to beg for help from her distant relations with the d’Urberville and starts working for an old blind woman and her son. The son is a little creepy and doesn’t leave Tess alone, and this inevitably leads to him raping her. She returns to her family and home after this, but her life has changed so hugely that it will never be the same again.

She suffers many hardships, but becomes very independent, earning her way by any means necessary in the countryside where she is comfortable. She makes friends and enemies but manages to keep herself going. She gains much attention from men, despite her efforts to keep a distance. She meets one charming young man who wants her for his wife but she refuses again and again, knowing that her secret will destroy her and those near her.

The ending of the book was a bit disappointing, after all the events which happen through it, and i was annoyed that it finished so abruptly.

Tess goes from being a figure of beauty and innocence, to a figure of pity and hardship, to a figure of pathetic, self-pitying, glutton for punishment, and finally to a figure of revenge and (short-lived) happiness.

I give this book 7/10 for being a classic tale, with a fascinating protagonist who covers so much ground, and deals with many issues. Worth reading at least once!

Note: I read this on my Kindle (as it is a free ebook).

I have finally completed my June challenge, despite thinking i wouldn’t be able to finish in time!

My tasks for June were as follows:

  1. Read a brand new book. – Read “Peaches for Monsieur le Curé” by Joanne Harris.
  2. Read a classic you’ve never tried before. – Read “Tess of the D’Urberviles” by Thomas Hardy
  3. Re-read a book you studied at school/college/university. – Re-read “Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien.
  4. Read a play. – Re-read “The Changeling” by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
  5. Read a book that you have owned for a while but haven’t started yet. – Read “Delicacy” by David Foenkinos
  6. Re-read a favourite book from your younger years. – Re-read “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Harvest” (A novelization from the hit TV series of the same title)
  7. Read a non-fiction title. – Reading “The Queen’s English” by Bernard C. Lamb
  8. Read a book that is totally different to the sort you usually read. – Read “New Finnish Grammar” by Diego Marani

I have finished all of the books, except for Task7, the non-fiction title “The Queen’s English” because it is fairly heavy going as a textbook (although the book says it is a “light” textbook, which it really isn’t!), but i will keep reading it inbits at a time because i won’t absorb it otherwise!

It has been an interesting challenge though, as you can’t deny that i’ve covered a wide range of books!

My favourite book was “Z for Zachariah” because it was easy to read, yet it was interesting to re-read it after so many years have passed since i studied it at school!

There isn’t a book i didn’t like, although i found myself getting a little irritated by “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” with Tess being a bit pathetic at times and the ending being a bit rubbish. I thought it was worth reading though, but i’m glad i didn’t have to study it at school/university!

That’s the end of my Mixing It Up Reading Challenge, and i will now have a little break from challenges because i want to just read without worrying about a deadline!