When we read this book with my book group, we christened it "Return of the Naive". The spoiled characters, petty motivations, and hard-to-believe disasters in this book are much too unappealing. The heath is the best character in the book, and Thomas Hardy describes it with the care of a lover. He clearly has writing talent, but it was wasted here.
I love Thomas Hardy, loved this book, reads like poetry.
Part of the Riverside Literature Series. Introduction by Harold C. Martin, Lecturer on Comparative Literature, Harvard University.
Wahington Square Press 33rd printing 1963
" Well-constructed Hardy novel of a remote corner of Wessex and six characters who interact in a beautifully rendered location. Man, nature, civilization, country life, love, education and ignorance--the usual mix of Hardy's take on the consequences of unrealistic expectations and inappropriate responses."