Joyce Yarrow's Reviews > Desperate Remedies

Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy
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Jun 06, 2014

really liked it

It's not surprising that Thomas Hardy's books have a reputation for being depressing. He does put his characters through intense trials and tribulations. Which was why, as a new reader of his work, I opened Desperate Remedies with some trepidation. To my delight, I found Hardy's portrayal of Cytherea Graye to be packed with realism, empathy and psychological insight--although a bit melodramatic at times. This was his first published novel - definitely a good place for a first-time reader to start.

I especially enjoyed the way Hardy uses dialog to reveal character and add a some suspense, as demonstrated in the following excerpt:

"No wedden this mornen--that's my opinion. In fact, there can't be," he said abruptly, as if the words were the mere torso of a many-membered thought that had existed complete in his head.

Cytherea, who has been forced by poverty to work as a lady's maid, is a sympathetic but by no means perfect character-- her indecisiveness and tendency to jump to the wrong conclusions at crucial junctures in her life made me like her all the more. It is not easy for a first-time novelist to write from the point of view of the opposite sex, so it's "hat's off" to Thomas Hardy!

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by MJ (new)

MJ The last time I read one of his books was in high school. Perhaps I give give him a second chance.

Joyce Yarrow MJ wrote: "The last time I read one of his books was in high school. Perhaps I give give him a second chance."

Let us know if you do, MJ - In my view, he was an extraordinarily modern writer in his commitment to emotional realism.

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