Mel's Reviews > A Laodicean

A Laodicean by Thomas Hardy
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Apr 08, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: 19th-century-fiction, victorian, victorian-lit
Read in April, 2012 — I own a copy

I picked up a cheap penguin classics version of this in Camden to read while we were on holiday. I have to say the penguin edition was quite annoying as it had lots of footnotes and I found them very distracting as it disrupted the flow of the story when I had to go, Wait they really don't think we know what that is??? But on the plus side it did have some nice period engravings that went along with the story.

There wasn't very much social commentary it was nearly all romantic comedy, which probably is not Hardy's best genre. It was still an enjoyable and quick read though. One of the things that was most striking about the book was the main character of Paula who was an incredibly independent woman. She was wealthy, having inherited a huge estate from her father, had no guardian character and was able to do as she pleased. In fact in her introduction she is refusing being baptised in the local baptist church, which had been her father's dying wish. Unsurprisngly, everyone wants to marry her and the plot is a twist of the different attempts of her various suitors. But one of the things I liked the best was the hinted at romantic friendship she has with her best friend who lived with her in the castle at the start of the story. The relationship isn't developed enough and tends to seriously peter out in a most depressing fashion towards the end of the book but it was nice to see that it was there to start with. I'm glad I read it and will definitely continue my goal to try and read every novel that Hardy wrote.
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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael I just finished this book - Hardy's eighth novel and the eighth I've read. I'm not really liking his books but will carry on. I agree that the friendship between Charlotte and Paula promised a lot more than it delivered. You wonder if Hardy even dreamed of having a significant friendship between women. What did you think of Dare?


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