By Hardy, Thomas
Oxford University Press, 2002. 433 pages. Fiction.
Bathsheba Everdene is a spirited, beautiful, independent woman who loves the attention from her three suitors, but needs to grow up and realize the consequences of an inconstant heart. Gabriel Oak, a shepherd, competes for her love against the debonair soldier Sergeant Troy and the respectable, middle aged farmer, Mr. Boldwood. Set in the rural countryside of 1870s Wessex, England, Thomas Hardy tells the heartwarming coming of age story with rich descriptions of the beautiful countryside lifestyle, as well as modern sensibilities about relationships and social customs.
I had already seen and loved the BBC movie, and rarely does the book impress if I have not read it beforehand, but this is an exception! I really enjoyed Hardy’s lush descriptions of the landscape and the detailed perspectives, especially about the various suitors in this novel. It is fairly long but keeps a good pace as you meander through the countryside and the story line. If you like 19th century England, strong independent female protagonists, love stories, or any sort of BBC classic then you will enjoy this title!