Sunday, February 10, 2019

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy was published in 1891 and is forward thinking for its time. I read this years ago and recently re-read it. 

Tess is from a working class family. Her father is a peddler and a hard drinker, and his drinking causes her to need to work for a family who her father believes is related to them, but in reality they are not. Alec ends up raping Tess and a child is created by this attack. 

In her time period, she is considered ruined. Alec wants to love and keep her, but she despises him. Because she will not marry him, she is viewed as the one at fault. 

She moves away from her home and works on a farm where she meets Angel Clare, a man who would be her savoir but will he accept the truth of her past?

This book frustrates me to no end. The views of society toward women at that time were so much worse than they are today. All of the men in this book, except for the farmer who she works for when she first leaves home, need a good shaking. They are selfish and products of their time, but it makes them cold, heartless, and more grief is caused than needs to be. 

The ending of the book was not unexpected, but like the first time I read it, it makes me angry. 

This book is well written and worth reading. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

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