Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Michael Henchard is a poor workman dragging his family across country trying to find work. At a county fair they come across, Michael gets drunk and begins to brood on his family. He feels the responsibility and thinks his wife and baby will drag him down. So he sells them to a sailor who is also just passing through the area. The next day he wakes up and realizes what he has done. But they are no where to be found. He makes a vow to not drink for a period equal to how long he has already been alive.

So after years of hard work he has become a successful businessman and the mayor of Casterbridge. But after the sailor disappears at sea his wife, Susan comes to town with her daughter. Henchard now has on opportunity to make up for the sins of his past.

And there's a new man in town named Donald Farfrae. Farfrae's star is rising. But Henchard's nature won't let him take a backseat to anyone.

This was a wonderful book. It's about second chances and self-destruction. It's my favorite Hardy so far. Highly, highly recommended.

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