Novel Notes: Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Last week Dallas was hit with what, to us, seemed like a winter storm for the end of times. While pent-up in the confines of home, the storm gave me the opportunity to dive into another world–a world so poignant and poetic that I found I didn’t want to leave.

“The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.”

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy is this hauntingly beautiful story of innocence and innocence lost at the hand of another. It paints this powerful picture of how our decisions and prejudices are all so intertwined. How our own seemingly inconsequential and insignificant decisions can so drastically alter another person’s path and life. And yet, through all the turmoil and sorrow, our young heroine Tess shows us that we must persevere.


“Don’t think of what’s past!” said she. “I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store?”

Have you read Tess? Have you had an experience that made you so present in that moment that you forgot everything else? What are some of your favorite classic literary works?

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