Well, I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel, which established and developed the narrative and characters, but found the final section tying up the many loose ends less engaging.
The Essex setting was great and all the characters were quite interesting (the only genuinely nasty person died conveniently on page 2). However the relentless serpent theme grated. Also tbh, some of the characters were so interesting, I would have liked a longer novel, so I could have known then better.
Other plus points:
– The rector actually seemed to be a Christian
-Interesting autistic character
-Beautiful cover design
I found this companion novel to Gilead quite hard to read, very emotionally demanding. It’s beautifully written, and almost unbearably sad. But I found the central characters frustratingly reserved with one another and I don’t have much patience for people who seem to generate great offense from one slightly misplaced word.
A very, very beautiful book – almost impossible to categorise. It’s a (fictional) narrative account of the early days of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. The novel is mostly concerned with the relationship between the eponymous Archbishop and his friend and missionary aide as they build a Diocese.
Very Victorian. I liked it but I don’t think it would attract a large following these days.
Under the Greenwood Tree was suggested to me via a discussion on the interwebs (can’t remember where) about church music. No piccy this week as I read this as a freebie on my kindle.
A fairly light read for Hardy; no-one drowns, dies in the workhouse or is hanged for murder. In fact only two things happen. The West Gallery quire of Mellstock parish church is sacked by the new vicar and replaced by the village school mistress who plays the organ. Dick Dewey, a young man of the village woos and wins said school mistress. And er, that’s it.
Quite a fun read and I did enjoy some of the incidental scenes and characters.