Title: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Author: Thomas Hardy
Publication Year: 1891
Publisher: Penguin English Library (publ. 2012)
My Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the story about Tess and her family who work as farmers in rural England. One day, Tess' father is informed that he and his family are actually part of the D'Urbervilles kinship, which means that their family is a family of prestige and wealth. That leads to Tess being placed at a house out of town in which a woman of the D'Urbervilles lives, in hopes that Tess will socialize with other people in the family and perhaps find a gentleman to marry.
Basically, this is a very beautiful story about Tess who grows from being a child to being a woman. What she goes through during these 487 pages is heart-wrenching; however, having now finished this novel, I must admit I'm left with a huge question mark above my head.
First of all, I was impressed with how Thomas Hardy structured this story. He leaves out bits and pieces of important information which turns the novel into a page-turner. I thought that we would eventually get the answers to all of our questions, but no! All we get are small hints as to what has happened, but we don't get the final revelation I was hoping for. Why is that?
Furthermore, I was a little bit puzzled with Tess and her behaviour. I liked her a lot, but at the same time I didn't understand her and her decisions on many occasions. In other words, I didn't feel a strong connection to her at any point in the book, but I was very much interested to follow her on her story and see where things were going.
This is ultimately a love story that will break your heart. It's also a story about life for maids back in the days, and it's about growing up and making some tough decisions. I liked this novel a lot exactly because it puzzled with my mind, but I would definitely have preferred to have got some answers to all of my questions that I'm now left with.