Far From the Madding Crowd by Hardy – Books in Review 2016

 

I have decided to log the books finished in 2016 giving a few thoughts without giving away too much of the story line.  My goal is to read a variety of books and genres throughout the year.   Recently, I discovered I was reading nothing but what I must and was no longer reading just for pleasure.  Something changes about books you love but must read, somehow they are not as enjoyable as before.  I still want to love reading the books I love, so I am adding books that are just because.  We will see if it works.

 

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The first book I have finished is Far From the Madding Crowd by Hardy.  At first I loved this book, the long descriptive passages that painted a picture across my mind’s eye were refreshing while at the same time warming to my soul.  But then, the heroine Bathsheba, I should have gotten a warning from that name, just made one terrible mistake after another.  I was reminded of the feeling I had while reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the desire to reach through the pages to shake some sense into the main character.  Eventually, I felt like I was reading a soap opera.  I did hang with it, and the ending was ok.  At least I didn’t want to throw it across the room like I did after finishing Frankenstein.  🙂

Maybe the book was better than I first thought, because it was thought provoking – in a disturbing sort of way.  I agonized that Bathsheba was making a poor decision in a husband and hoped against hope that she would be wiser than her years suggested.  Now I find I am still wondering if we appreciate good more after having experienced the bad.  If we are given good without any struggle or trial, will we really be able to treasure the good for what it is?  Are you better off to have never experienced the pain of trial, or to have passed through the trial to the other side?  There is joy found in both places, but it is different, is it not?  I suspect the latter may be deeper and fuller but not complete this side of heaven.