Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Today the Book it Sisters reviewed Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.
(Published 1981, 338 pages)
Book it Sisters’ Grade:

When Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of a poor villager, learns that she might be a descendant of the ancient D’Urberville family, her family pressures her to claim kinship in order to seek a portion of the fortune. But when her meeting with young Alec D’Urberville does not go as planned, she returns home a ruined woman. A kinder man, Angel Clare, seems to offer Tess a more stable life—but she must choose whether to reveal her past to him and risk losing everything, or stay quiet and live a lie. Set in the rural town of Wessex, Tess of the D’Urbervilles examines the impact of Victorian hypocrisy and societal struggles on the rural classes.

At once hopeful and tragic, Tess of the D’Urbervilles remains a scathing indictment of the injustices of English social and class structure. First published serially in the British newspaper The Graphic, the novel went on to become one of Thomas Hardy’s most successful, ranking number 26 on the BBC’s survey, “The Big Read.” It has been adapted countless times for stage and film.

Here is our report:

Judy BushC+I did not enjoy the writing style. It was so pompous and preachy. The story was a downer, and I wanted to knock some sense in the characters. I am, however, happy to say read it and check it off my list!
Janet Maisel
Mary HalseyBI loved Tess, her spirit and courage in the face of such dire circumstances. Hardy has powerful descriptions that made it easy for me to visualize and feel the heartbreak of Tess.
Tricia GadberryI didn't finish the book. Although I wanted to find out what happened, I just had a hard time "slogging" through the book.
Suzanne RigbyA-I thoroughly enjoy Thomas Hardy. Athough the times/society into which Tess was born was depressing and not very kind to women, I feel that Tess is a strong character who rises to every twist of fate that comes to her. It is such a well developed story with flawed characters and great description. It is a tale of society at the time, with all it's barriers and prejudice. Yet there was the bright spots where love was found and shared.
Denise Link-
No comment! Didn't read it.
Cheryl ClowesC+This tale is so tragic. The description verse is very beautiful regarding the countryside, light, the human form and the human condition. The tale is although is very disturbing. To think that an innocent young girl's life can be steered off course with one terrible act that was done to her, is heartbreaking. Several times I was hoping that the men would step up and give Tess a reprieve but they did not. I also wished that Tess would have stood up for herself much sooner. I did not enjoy the book because it was tragic. I am glad not to live back then when women were judged so harshly.
Nina Yatsko
Megan Lewis



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