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Book Club: May

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For the month of May, the novel that was picked out is by the ever so talented Thomas Hardy, who is a well known romanticist novelist from England. Tess of the d’Urbervilles is one of Hardy’s famous novels for several reasons, one of the reasons is due to the original novel being censored for challenging sexual morals of the time, late Victorian era.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles follows a young sixteen year old girl named Tess, who is the oldest child of peasants, John and Joan Durbeyfield. A chance encounter between John and a man named Parson Tringham occur, and it is in that moment that John has been notified that he is a descendant of nobility. John and Joan send their daughter, Tess, to go to a nearby relative and “claim kin”, to alleviate their status and financial problems. While Tess is visiting the relatives, a young man named Alec d’Urbervilles, he becomes very attracted to Tess and decides to hire her to help his mother with her poultry. While in the residence, Alec seduces and rapes Tess, leaving her pregnant. She gives birth when she gets back home, to a young boy named Sorrow. Suddenly, Sorrow falls ill and dies in infancy, leaving Tess wounded and devastated of losing her child. After losing her child, Tess meets a young man named Angel Clare, and after a while of saying no to Angel’s proposal, Tess finally agrees to marry Angel. However, they are not married for long. For they decide to split after they both divulge each other’s past secrets to one another. After they have both gone their own ways, Tess sees Alec (who is now a minister), and tries to stay away from him. However, Alec leaves his post as minister and pursues her, asking her to marry him over and over again, with Tess giving him the same reply, that she will not be his wife. **You need to read the entire book to understand what all Tess goes through, it is impeccable.

This novel is one of the most unique novels out there, because for it to be a novel to challenge the time period that it was released in is truly magnificent and bold. Thomas Hardy is definitely an author that everyone needs to read at some point in their life.

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