Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a novel by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1891. Though now considered a great classic of English Literature, the book received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual costumes of Hardy's day.
I simply loved Tess, it has been one of the best novel's I have ever read. The allusions that Hardy creates in the novel, provide a symbolic meaning toward life and toward the theme of "original sin." The life story of Tess captivates the reader's attention and anxiousness to find out what "fate" Hardy has prepared for her and Angel. One of the reasons I really enjoyed this novel was because of the unexpecting ending of Tess, I was completely unprepared for this. Further, the theme of "fate" and "coincidence" causes the reader to reflect upon their own life and gaze upon those "odd coincidences," that perhaps were no coincidence at all, but part of our unchanging "fate". Overall it's a lovely book, deffinitely worth reading.
The downtrodden Durbeyfields are surprised to learn of their distinguished ancestry as descendents of the wealthy and now extinct d'Urberville family. News that a woman with the d'Urberville name lives nearby inspires the Durbeyfields to send their daughter Tess to investigate. Tess meets handsome Alec d'Urberville, who lives on the estate with his mother. Tess is invited to take a job on the property. Alec seduces Tess with sweet words and lavish promises, but the situation soon takes a horrific turn, leaving Tess devastated and ashamed. Tess finds work on a dairy farm, where she makes three good friends, Marion, Izz and Retty. While there, Tess coincidentally meets someone she's previously only seen from afar, Angel Clare. Over a hot summer, Angel and Tess fall in love. But as her attraction deepens, Tess is torn between hope and fear. Should she confess her past to Angel, or will her honesty ruin her chances for a happy life?
Here's a video of the 1998 A&E adaptation of the book: