Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Tess Of The D’Urbervilles  by  Thomas Hardy


This is my first book that I have read/listened to through audio book!   I was unable to get to my books and had some time to kill.  I tried the idea of getting the ebook, but there was no way that I was going to read that long of a book through the small screen of my iphone.  Instead the audio book appeared.  It was only a few dollars, so I decided to take a chance.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My first thought brought me back to a memory of reading in school.  Following along as people took turns to read.  I never liked to read aloud, and even still don’t care for it.  I found that I didn’t remember many details from the stories this way, so I was partially concerned.  I figure it was because it was school, and I didn’t get to choose the book, and was less interested.  These were my first thoughts, until I pushed play.   I had not thought of the voice that would be reading to me.  It turned out to be a man with an accent.  To be honest, he was really annoying at first, and I don’t know how I managed to get through as much as I did.
Tess belongs to the Derbyfield family.   At the beginning of the story, her father is informed that they come from an older family of the name  D’Urberville.  This is believed to be happy news, being the descendants of knights, but turns out to be the beginning of a difficult life for their daughter, Tess.  Much of the story consists of following Tess through some devastating experiences and working at different farms.
She is a hard working girl in a world of men, two men specifically.  One seemingly the end of her, the other a new beginning.   Tess and the man that has wronged Tess greatly meet again after some time.  This part of the story I had to laugh at. The man had converted and became a preacher.  During this time, he urges Tess to swear on a structure he believed to be holy, that she would no longer tempt him.  When she has never had any intention of doing this, he blames her for his lack of self control.  As for the other man in her life.  I find it funny that she tried to warn him and to cast him away, but he was determined (they both were).  Later on, after revealing something from her past, he seems to change her mind, saying that she is a different women.  This was even done after he confessed to having a very similar indiscretion in his past.    In the end many people have been wronged.

It was not the happiest of stories, and sometimes a little dry.  There were a few parts that made you want to hear/read more, but nothing too engaging.   It was nice to experience the classic tale, and to know a bit about this story to broaden my reading, but I would not suggest this book.   It would have taken me a lot longer to get through this book without the audio book.   I was able to listen on the way to work, on the way back, while doing things around the house. I was also able to do things I would have liked to do instead of reading but was able to do them both simultaneously.

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