In the end I found myself feeling terribly sorry for Henchard. It was so interesting to see how he'd pulled himself together, and then it seemed that his world totally fell apart for no good reason. There was a lot of interesting character development and interactions in the novel, but I felt that not really seeing into their minds made it seem like they were all a bit disconnected. I think Hardy did a much better job in Jude the Obscure for portraying the motivation of his characters and giving insight into their nature.
Another thing that was much better in the book was the historical side of things. It was interesting to see the effects of the Corn laws, and the slice of early 19th century life.
At times I felt like the book was dragging a little, but I enjoyed it so much in the end that I'm very glad I read it. This is definitely my 2nd favorite of the Hardy novels I've read so far. (The first being Jude)....Continua