In the remote wildness of Egdon Heath, the crossed love affairs and marriages of a small group of people are played out against the background of nature’s beauty and indifference to mankind. Through a series of vivid incidents and encounters, The Return of the Native moves in a relentless drive towards tragedy, as the plans and dreams of the lovers miscarry, defeated by chance, or destiny or self-deception. In their unhappy stories, Hardy gives us a powerful dramatization of his bleak philosophy, his belief in man’s helplessness before the malevolence of the universe.
Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks
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"Thoroughly engrossing after a slow start"
Not one of Hardy's most well known (or often dramatised) works, this is a bit of a slow burn but becomes fully absorbing. The star character is really the heath itself which is gradually brought to life through description and the parochial lives of its inhabitants. The plot, apparently rather simplistic at first, develops through a series of misunderstandings and misadventures to an end both tragic and stoical. Recommended.
The narration is nicely measured to the pace of the book.
"The best of Hardy - magical!"
Absolutely love this book, incredible characters and wonderful language. I cried more than once! Highly recommended.
"Hardy with a not-so-depressing ending"
If you can wade yourself in through the first hour or two then I guarantee you will become engaged. If you are familiar with Victorian writing you will know what you are getting into. If you are unfamiliar with Victorian writing, this story is character driven with a bit of drama, tragedy and mercy pulling the story along.
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