I love Thomas Hardy. There, I’ve said it. I’ve hinted at it quite a few times on this blog, but thought I should just get it out in the open. I finally read ‘The Woodlanders’ and am happy to say he didn’t let me down. As part of his Wessex novels, Woodlanders looks at rural life in southwest England during the later 1800s. Readers are taken on a literary journey through social classes, laborer hardships and unrequited love.

I’ve read that toward the end of his life, Hardy said it was his favorite novel of all those he’d written. While it’s not my favorite of his books  (it can’t compete with Tess, Madding Crowd or Greenwood Tree), I wasn’t as unsatisfied with the ending as others.  In fact, I kinda liked it.

Having visited Hardy’s home and “Wessex” several years ago, I especially now love reading his work, imagining where each scene takes place and getting a better appreciation for that part of the country and its people. If you ever get the chance, go. It, like Hardy, won’t disappoint.