“…the past was yesterday; the future, tomorrow; never, the next day”
I was lucky enough to win this new edition Thomas Hardy’s classic in a goodreads first reads giveaway. I’ve wanted to read this for a while, and with the release of the movie adaptation, I planned to read the story before watching it.
The first character we are introduced to is Gabriel Oak, a 28 year old, modest, single guy working as a shepherd in a small community within the English countryside when suddenly his ordinary day to day is interrupted by the appearance of a beautiful and rather sassy young woman who has come to stay with we aunt in the village. They meet, they flirt, he proposes, she refuses, valuing her self reliance too highly to be somebody’s wife. And so this cycle goes a couple more times with other men (because nobody can resist this chick’s milkshake) until she finally falls head over heels for one of them and everything goes to hell pretty quickly from there.
I found the first half of this to be pretty slow going and while the second half was much more interesting I still found it difficult to feel anything besides exhaustion at Bathsheba for her poor decision making skills combined with her utter disregard for other people’s feelings and then confusion at her suitors inability to see beyond her pretty face even after she’s done nothing but mess them around. If you like classic romances, with heavy doses of drama, then you’ll love this, but it was a bit too much like a soap opera for my taste, and I’m really not into soap operas.