31 December, 2017


Title: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Author:  Thomas Hardy
Series: -
Genres: Classics, Fiction, Romance
Publisher:  Penguin Classics
Release: 1891
Source: Audiobook/Paperback
Pages:  518

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When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

Hannah's Review

EXPECTATIONS: Tess was my first book of Thomas Hardy. I have previously heard of him on booktuber but never in any of my literature classes so going into this book I did not really have any preset expectations.

THE WORLD: The world in this book is old but I do not remember exactly when. I think it is something around 19th century as it is when Hardy actually wrote it. Basically we focus here on the working class, people who have to look for job again and again to survive. There are no tee parties or dancing balls as in Jane Austen told stories or very political plot lines as you meet in Dickens work. On the other hand, Thomas Hardy also does not disgrace women and not present them just as an object to look at. Here our main character is a woman and the way Hardy made her...ah I loved it to bits. We see so much of struggling working class that at points you find yourself tired as much as they are while reading it. 

CHARACTERS: Our main character is called Tess Durberfield and she belongs to the working class. Many times we see Tess struggling to find a job to help her family. At some point she is supposed to marry but then she is taken advantage of instead and is left pregnant and unmarried which at that time was looked at as something dirty and shameful. It is very interesting how Tess just takes it all in even tho we as readers know that being raped was not her fault. Only later in book Tess starts to get stronger to the point where I was really really proud of her. It might have been different times but I Tess took revenge on everybody just as they deserved. Next to Tess there are two mail characters that play big part in the story: Alec Durberville and Angel Clare. Alec is Tess cousin and in my opinion one of worst classics characters I have encountered so far. I really really hated Alec but at the same time unfortunately I could see so many men of today being exactly like him. Him being a man was like him being a saint in everybody's eyes. And then Angel..ah where do I even start. Another great representation of men to be honest. Angel is so self absorbed, he plays such a victim and everybody is at fault except poor Angel. Hated that man just as Alec. 

ROMANCE: There are constant interactions between Tess and Alec and Tess and Angel. Fortunately in the end Tess takes her own path. 

GOOD: I really really liked the story towards the ends. At some points it was a bit boring but then it started to go the direction I have never never seen classic go. I was beyond surprised and impressed. 

BAD: I really really hated the final ending involving Tess sister. I think it is creepy even for that period.

OVERALL: I received another book of Hardy for Christmas and cannot wait to start it. If it is even half as good as was Tess of D'Urbervilles I am considering Thomas Hardy my favorite classics authors right next to Jane Austen. 

Martyna's Review

EXPECTATIONS: Hannah and I took this book as our November buddy read. I have read one Hardy book before so I was into reading another one. And I have to say, we both flew through this book with open hearts and minds and we ended up loving it! You guys, I was shock by this book! I cried and I talked about this non-stop! Bravo Hardy! What a masterpiece!

THE WORLD: The novel starts in 1870 during the Long Depression if I'm not mistaken, when people had difficulty to find work or any other occupation if you were not really rich or from royal or just a good family. I have to say the world was very depressing to me. It seemed difficult, cold, hard and just plain depressing. Everyone was either hungry, or poor or hungry because they're poor. People were drunks, they were dirty and just the whole time period seemed - heartbreaking. This is very different from the positive surrounding that I was used to while reading Jane Austen.

CHARACTERS: Our main character is a girl named Tess. She comes from once a great family Dubervilles, but now they are no better then beggars. She has her two parents and two or three younger siblings I don't remember now, but her life is very difficult as she basically has to be the one who works to keep her family not hungry. Tess is very naive and not touched by the cruelty of the world. She was a little angel that this shitty world took and used until there was nothing to take anymore. But I loved about her was her strength. God she was a strong girl! (Spoiler)
In the book she gets used and abused and raped and if left pregnant and she just took it all without even saying a word when everyone kind of judged her. But you know, where was a scene, where she was working in the field and her sister took her baby out to be breast fed and everyone was kind of shocked but they didn't say anything and that kind of got me thinking that this was probably very common back in those days. Girls were raped and gave life to babies and no one said a world. My heart is literally breaking.

Other character in this book are all assholes! Especially the men in the book. I mean Tess's parents are the worst! Tess gets a little break when she lives and serves for the Angel family, but other then that people are horrible. Mostly, the two male leads: Alec and Angel. I have them both with all my being and f***k them for what they did to her! Alec is the abuser of Tess. He plaid this game of stealing kisses from her, taking advantage of her being so naive and he brushed it over saying that she bewitched him and he was helpless. You know, if I had to choose who to hate less, I would probably hate Alec less, because sure Alec abused her, but he understood his disease and the horrible shit he did to Tess, whereas Angel....oh boy, that Angel was just the worst! Tess marries him, and he is all 'I'll love you forever' and the moment she opens her heart to him saying that she was raped and abused and hurt so badly you know what does? He leaves her, calls her a demon of seduction or whatever and leaved to f***g Brazil taking her best friend as his mistress. SWEET BABY JESUS, hold me cause Imma punch a wall! Such a scumbag I cannot even deal!!!!

ROMANCE: In this book we have a love triangle, but if you think it's a sappy, I love him but want him you are beyond wrong! The only true love that I will accept in this book was Tess's love for her siblings!

GOOD: This book shows how horrible men treats women. I am not kidding, this book is literally about how the thought that just because you're a man you have the right to take a girl and use her, or leave a girl because she was hurt by another man. And to think that such book was published in 19th century makes me happy and sad. Happy that people understood how wrong it was for men to rape and use women. And sad because they still think the same.

BAD: I have to admit though, that at times this book was slow. It went into very detailed descriptions on how to milk a cow or take the harvest and stuff. I kind of started skipping these parts.

OVERALL: This book should be put on the reading list in schools and taught in universities because this book is wonderful!

What do you think about TESS OF D'URBERVILLES?



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