Saturday, February 7, 2015

Book Review: Under the Greenwood Tree

For the Mount TBR Pile challenge and the Alphabet Soup challenge I read Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree.
Synopsis from Goodreads: "Under the Greenwood Tree" is the story of the romantic entanglement between church musician, Dick Dewey, and the attractive new school mistress, Fancy Day. A pleasant romantic tale set in the Victorian era, "Under the Greenwood Tree" is one of Thomas Hardy's most gentle and pastoral novels.
While Under the Greenwood Tree is considered to be the happiest of Thomas Hardy's novels, I was left at the end wondering whether or not this was truly the case. Fancy Day reminds me a lot of Cynthia from Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters. I think she's a better version of her, but in essence I think she is her. Dick Dewey had all of the warning signs before their marriage but I'm amazed he still married her. At the end when Fancy is waiting for him to come and worrying he won't, I was kind of hoping that he wouldn't. On the other hand, Dick has an issue with jealousy, though not necessarily unmerited. I'm not sure if I particularly cared for any of the characters in this book too much except Dick's parents. They seemed like decent people.
Overall it was a pretty light novel to read but not likely one that I will ever re-read.
There's a film version of it starring Keely Hawes who incidentally played Cynthia in Wives and Daughters. Coincidence? I think not! ;) Hopefully I'll get around to watching it soon. :)

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  1. I haven't read this one. I don't really "like" Thomas Hardy if I'm honest :) But I have seen the movie adaption. It also stars Ben Miles whom I like very much :) I am wondering how faithful it is to the book?!

    1. I've heard it isn't spot on accurate but that it's still good. I guess I'll find out. :)
      The only other book I've read by Thomas Hardy is Far From the Madding Crowd, which I liked. I'm not sure if I'd like others of his books so well from what I've heard of them though.

  2. Great review! For the most part I've avoided Thomas Hardy's books because I heard they can be pretty depressing (though I did enjoy The Mayor of Casterbridge). May have to check this book out now :)

    1. I haven't heard of The Mayor of Casterbridge. I'll have to look into it. He does write pretty sad books from what I've experienced at least.


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