I completed my reading of this tale because I felt the main protagonists were well drawn, but time and again throughout I found myself tangled in the infinitely detailed imagery. Tess, Alec and Angel are interwoven in their activities but intimacy is merely alluded to, on occasion leaving me wondering if I’d misread the narrative. I don’t need to hear the clothing being torn from a body or taste the tears of a downtrodden soul but this felt at times like a first draft of a really good idea.
Harm is occuring to human beings, strong emotions are being experienced, but there is little detail of the acts that cause these things. Rather, Thomas Hardy waxes lyrical about the colour and condition of the countryside, or the state of repair of the road.
A tale which I read in it’s old form but I feel the model has been resurrected and revamped many times since it’s first telling. Today in movie land there are many Tess’s, however they dress, talk or act and their suitors are just as good, foolish or dastardly as the characters portrayed in this story.
On a positive note, when I reached the end of the story I felt more confident in my own writing and storytelling ability. For that Mr. Hardy, I thank you.