Author: Thomas Hardy
I have my late grandpa’s 1952 unabridged, printed in Great Britain HB copy of this novel published by Macmillan & Co, that I really cherish. The story is set in late 1800s in a fictional place named Whetherbury and revolves around a beautiful, strong-willed and independent girl named Bathsheba Everdene who has three men in love with and chasing her. An orphan Bathsheba’s life gets transformed when she inherits her heirless uncle’s farm and becomes a rich farm-owner.
The three men –simple and diligent Gabriel Oak, rich and passionate Boldwood and smart and temperamental Francis Troy, fancy Bathsheba and she chooses one of them as her husband. However, things take a turn for the worst when a juvenile valentine-card prank goes wrong and after her marriage, old skeletons along with a horrible secret, tumble out and create an emotional mayhem leading to a fitful murder.
The story is well woven and keeps the reader glued. The metaphors are lovely but long descriptions of how farms, sheep-rearing and farm-markets operate seem to be over-stretched. Overall, the book is wonderful!