A Review of Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I read this in a book club and it’s not something I would typically read but I am glad I did.
This is the story of Tess Derbyfield. When we first meet her she is 16 years old living in poverty with her alcoholic parents. Her father has just learned that he has lineage dating back to the dUrbervilles, a royal family. Upon hearing this, they want to send their oldest daughter, Tess, off to a neighboring town where a family lives that has the d’Urberville name to become a servant and perhaps claim title to the d’Urberville name and even marry a wealthy gentleman. What they do not know is this family only adopted the d’Urberville name to further their business endeavors.

Upon first meeting Alec, the sham d’Urberville, Tess’s life just goes from bad to worse. She meets one tragedy after another, some caused by fate, some caused by bad decisions.

This books leaves you feeling sad and hopeless but is a critique on the way women were treated in 1890’s Victorian England.

This book had good characters but I thought the development was weak. Harry uses great description of land and locations to where you feel fully immersed in the world of his creation.

This story is not for everyone. There are points where you will cry and there are points where you are on the edge of your seat just hoping that the stars will align and fate will come through for Tess.

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