Author: Thomas Hardy
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Release: 27th February 2003
// Goodreads //
Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
EXPECTATIONS: I actually saw the movie first, while travelling and I loved it, so I wanted to read the book as well. Going into the book I already knew what to expect, but still I got much much more!
THE WORLD: The world in this book is our world in the 19th century England or so. The majority of people farm, whether it's owning a farm or working on it. There's a lot of farming reference in the book, sheep in particular, how to groom them, how to feed them how to raise them basically.
We also have a look at the life on the farm. We get to see balls, the parties, big dinners. I actually did rather enjoy the world in this book, it wasn't as dark as Dickens or just bubbly like Austen, but something in the middle. It felt very real.
CHARACTERS: Our main protagonist is the amazing Bathsheba Everdene - a girl who comes to inherit a farm, and thus becomes a crucial figure in the sheep farming industry, because no woman before has successfully owned a farm. Now what I loved about Bathsheba was that she had amazing character development. When we met her she was a spoiled girl who thinks she's better than anyone, but the moment she realizes she is responsible for the lives of the people on the farm she becomes a young adult woman, who is fierce! She is also a little silly with men, she flirts, she falls in love with the wrong people, but at the end I really did love Bathsheba.
No, let me introduce you to the Mr. Darcy of this book - Gabriel Oak. Oh man, was he adorable and sweet. He was strong, and patient and what I loved most about him was that even though he was in love with Bathsheba for majority of the book, he still kind of respected her and just let her live her life. He didn't force her to do anything, he didn't criticize her or shamed her or anything. He loved her, but he let her be. Mr.Oak was truly a wonderful guy.
If discussing men in Bathsheba's life I have to mention Francis Troy, the man she marries for love. He was a douche, but at the same time I felt sorry for him. He was suppose to marry a girl named Franny, but due to some misunderstandings they didn't and Troy felt heartbroken. I think the and Bathsheba married each other to escape. There was also a Mr. William Boldwood, the man who owned the neighboring farm. He was absolutely in love with Bathsheba, and I felt like she just played him.
Or course there are other characters, who play minor roles.
ROMANCE: Love is all around this book, but I think the main love story in this book is between Bathsheba and Mr. Oak.
GOOD: I loved the name Bathsheba! I just...well done Mr. Hardy! I also liked the farming things up to some point. It was kind of interesting to learn about sheep farming.
Another this that I liked, was that this book was very quotable! I mean check some of these quotes:
It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness
BAD: I didn't sometimes agreed or understood the actions the characters took. For instance Bathsheba at points was very selfish and very cold hearted.
OVERALL: This was my first Hardy book and I was left mesmerized!
What do you think about FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD?