The Return of the Native

The Return of the Native

Book - 1999
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'You are ambitious, Eustacia - no, not exactly ambitious, luxurious. I ought to be of the same vein, to make you happy, I suppose.' Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, and they have little in common with Eustacia's. Their unhappy marriage causes havoc in the lives of those close to them, in particular Damon Wildeve, Eustacia's former lover, Clym's mother and his cousin Thomasin. The Return of the Native illustrates the tragic potential of romantic illusion and how its protagonists fail to recognize their opportunities to control their own destinies.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1999.
ISBN: 9780140435184
0140435182
Branch Call Number: FIC Hardy
Characteristics: xlv, 449 pages : illustrations, map ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Slade, Tony

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s
stewstealth
Nov 23, 2016

An eloquent writer narrating a contrived plot with standard 19th century themes of class, love and duty. Quite melodramatic and an old fashioned style. Read it if you are interested.

w
wyenotgo
Aug 21, 2015

"The plot of 'The Return of the Native' is much like a diminuitive marionette; it carries a tragedy altogether too grand in scale for its own dimensions; but its power in the book comes from the hand that pulls th strings -- the omnipotent hand of Fate."
That was the opening line of an esay that I wrote many years ago in high school after reading the book. And despite all that I have read and learned and experienced since, I can hardly think of a better way to summarize Hardy's great work, now that I've read through it again, my opinion hasn't changed. A great novel in any age.

1
1aa
Jul 07, 2015

Extensive notes and glossary of colloquialisms help the reader comprehend certain passages.
There were too many fortuitous plot twists (e.g., the relatives who all died leaving an 11000 pound fortune) that strained the credulity of the reader.
Thematically though, a great book.

c
Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 22, 2014

This is a bit of a muddle, fueled by over-the-top Victorian melodrama that hasn't aged well. Infidelity and constancy play out their themes on a bleak English moor. The most rewarding aspect of the novel is the evocative setting, haunting and dismal.

mayfairlady Jan 31, 2011

one of my favourites.... Hardy does not disappoint

s
shadowcat1234
Nov 05, 2010

A writer like no other.I recommend a large number of books under your belt before you read Hardy. But to read Hardy is a must for serious readers.

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