The Mayor of Casterbridge
Author: Thomas Hardy
From Goodreads: In a fit of drunken
anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five
guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he
manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the
community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the
shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive
pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s
powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard
is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the
vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.
What I thought: This is our March book group read and I approached it with trepidation. I don't have a good history with the classics. I struggle with them, often forcing myself to get through them. I'm so excited to say that for once, I didn't struggle! I actually enjoyed this, so much so I am likely to pick up more Hardy. I don't know what it was, but I just found the language easier than I normally do - maybe I'm finally growing up!
One thing that didn't seem to change for me is my dislike of the characters! I don't know what it is about characters in classics, but I generally don't like them! Henchard in this is a case in point. He continually bemoaned his bad behaviour and the effect it had on the outcomes of things around him, but he didn't change! Farfrae was completely insensitive, unable to see how his actions could impact negatively on someone else and as always, I find the women to simpering and spineless. Maybe I need to start reading these books without 21st century values...
Challenges: Ebook challenge,