Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was first published in 1874, and yes, I'm on a bit of a Thomas Hardy kick. He is a good story teller who weaves many relationships together. 

Blurb from Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships. 

I liked this book even more than Tess of the D'Urbervilles because the ending is better. I believe Thomas Hardy was a man ahead of his time. He sees the issues that women faced and often still face and writes about them. 

Bathsheba Everdene is young, but she has money and has inherited an estate. She is beautiful and sought after. Fanny, another character in the story, faces ruin, and one man must choose between Fanny and Bathsheba. 

Hardy sets the stage well. Each chapter heading gives the reader a hint of what is to come. He sets up the love quadrangle and then adds Fanny to it. He has the reader hoping for their favorites to win. Each character is well written and multidimensional. 

I listened to the audio version that was excellently narrated by Tadhg Hynes, and his accent was dreamy. 

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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