5 Responses

  1. Teresad
    Teresad March 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm |

    I’m delighted that you enjoyed this so much. Opinions about it are really divided, but I think it’s a wonderful book–all Hardy’s books that I’ve read are wonderful. The whole question of choice comes up a lot in his work, and it seems like one of the recurring themes is how people at the bottom of the social ladder have fewer good choices available and are less able to recover from their mistakes. Everything seems to work against them, and there’s no way out of it. It’s a bleak vision, and not universally true, but I think there’s something to it, even today.

  2. Jenny
    Jenny March 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

    Wow, I never thought anything would make me want to give Thomas Hardy another try! I read The Mayor of Casterbridge in high school and absolutely hated it — I found it unbelievably dreary from start to finish. But I love this review! You make Hardy sound wonderful.

  3. Rachel Bradford
    Rachel Bradford March 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm |

    This is one of the most powerful books that I read when I was a teenager. I agree – the issue is really not whether she was raped or seduced. That’s not what the book is about. It’s about how feelings of guilt can motivate the destruction of innocence. Poor Tess!

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