Just as with all of Thomas Hardy’s novels that I have read, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I admit it took me longer to ‘get into’ the story line than others I have read, but when I was eventually fully engaged, this novel really did grip me.
It was extremely descriptive – Something I absolutely adore within a novel – How else are you meant to enter that world? As I have probably stated before – There has not been one Thomas Hardy piece of work that I have not enjoyed, and I hope his next three novels that I have to read live up to what I have already read. Though I don’t doubt them.
This, again, was a tragedy, as all of his works have been .. And again, yes .. I did shed a few tears .. Damn, I really do get too involved with the characters, don’t I?! When Giles died, oh, my heart broke, such a sweetheart and only ever wanted one woman – Grace – Who did annoy me, the bitch … Towards the end of the novel couldn’t make up her damn mind .. GO WITH GILES!!! But no, she went back to her cheating husband, Fitzpiers. DAMN GIRL!
Grace’s father – Mr Melbury highly irritated me. He would not let Grace do anything she wanted. Well, until the end but then it was too late!
In the beginning she wanted to marry Giles but her father didn’t want her to due to his social standing and so she ended up marrying Fitzpiers, whom when just simply courting Grace had a brief encounter (and a following encounter, and probably more) with another character Suke Damson, tut tut. After just two months of being married Fitzpiers thought he’d go off gallivanting around and have relations with Mrs Charmond (who also annoyed me – playing the victim at one point in the novel, psht!) – Who turned out to be a sweetheart from his childhood years, but still .. Contain yourself, man!
After a few months apart, Grace felt swayed towards Giles again and was set in hope she could divorce Fitzpiers. Grace then, as instructed to do so by her father (no surprise there), encouraged Giles to become more involved with his feelings towards her – Which, obviously he did seeing as he never stopped loving her!
Giles’s feelings for Grace were ultimately his downfall as these feelings and the way he treated her when she asked for his help became the death of him – So sad, so chivalrous – I really did feel for him.
At the end of the novel Grace forgave Fitzpiers and stopped visiting Giles’s grave with Marty (who had feelings for Giles but was never recognised by him in the mutual way) and went off with her husband to live “happily ever after”.. Pft, yeah right. He probably cheated on her again the week after they moved.
It was a lovely read though, despite all the cheating going on! So yeah, you know what’s coming ….. GIVE IT A GO!
– Happy reading!