It seems like I have been reviewing a lot of classic books recently. I must be in a classic mood, or I’m just reading a lot to keep up with my “Favorite Books of the Year” series. Either way, this is a book that has sat on my bookshelf for months, and on my TBR for years. I learned a bit about the plot from the movie adaptation from 2015, and it didn’t look really interesting. But it is a classic, so I decided to read it.
Page Count: 477
Synopsis: This story follows the independent Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle’s farm and radically decides to run it herself. Into her life come three men who change her future forever: older farmer Boldwood, notorious womanizer soldier Troy, and quiet shepherd Gabriel Oak.
There is a lot I enjoyed about this book. I loved Oak’s character. He is the perfect combination of gentlemanly, strong, but incredibly kind. However, while I thought all the characters were well-developed, I didn’t like any of the other main characters. Bathsheba is a narcissist, with pride so great it gets her into trouble after trouble. Any tragic turn her lift takes felt kind of deserved. Boldwood is obsessive and Troy is just a typical douchebag. I loved the book’s feel of a small English town, as we learned about the farming life pf the fictional Weatherbury. This book is filled with common Victorian tradition and culture and I was fascinated by this aspect. I was honestly also curious about where this strange romance would end up, as it has some weird twists.
Due to this being a classic, I’m going to give away some spoilers, so if you don’t want any spoilers, just skip the next paragraph.
Bathsheba ends up marrying Troy, who constantly cheats on her. Eventually he is believed drowned and vanishes for years, while Oak stays silently by Bathsheba’s side helping to run her farm and Boldwood starts to court her strongly. Troy returns and demands Bathsheba come back to him. Boldwood kills him, and Bathsheba realizes it was Oak she always loved and they marry. Crazy ending…honestly, I kind of wanted Bathsheba to end up alone after how horribly she treated everyone, but I also understand she went through a hard life after Troy vanished and grew up quite a bit. Still, I wanted better for Oak.
Now, would I recommend this book? I ended up giving it three stars on Goodreads, mostly because of how annoying Bathsheba was to me. However, I honestly would recommend this book. Similar to Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell (among a lot of other Victorian authors), this book is moreso interesting because the examination of England during that time, with all its quirks and fashion. It’s also interesting to see such a strong, independent woman in this era, even if she was kind of a horrible human being.
Have you read this book? Is it a book you someday want to read? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,