Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Under the Greenwood Tree

Title: Under the Greenwood Tree
Author:Thomas Hardy
Genre: Fiction, Classics
Pages: 237
Published: 1872
Date Finished: 16 June 2009
My Rating: 4 Stars
Challenges: Spring, Victorian, Classics, New Author, Library, 100+

Under the Greenwood Tree begins as a humorous and somewhat charming look at a simplistic group of church musicians who are about to be disbanded to make way for an organ. Along the way the story morphed into the strange and still often humorous love story between Dick Dewey and the village's new school teacher, Fancy Day. As a couple I found the pair rather mismatched but it did lead to some fun reading.
This is my first Hardy novel and was surprised at how humorous and light the story was. It is my understanding that most of his major works are much more dark and not so happy. None the less, I found myself laughing and enjoying myself quite a bit, especially the parts with the choir, a group of men who were prone to get drunk before doing anything.
In the end I am just left wondering if Dick and Fancy could really have been happy together? She's so concerned about being modern and is a bit pretentious and he is such a simple working man. Then, of course, there is that secret Fancy is keeping from Dick...


Amber said...

I pretty much left Hardy alone after "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and "Far from the Madding Crowd". This book was on Masterpiece Theatre in the last few years and done very well. I, too, thought Fancy and Dick (hee hee--gotta be careful!) were mismatched. I liked what Hardy does best: showcase the common folk tied to the land and their heritage.

Shelley said...

Cool-a comment from someone I know in person! Hi, Amber!
Anyway, I haven't read this one but saw the movie and don't remember too much of it. For some strange reason I love Hardy--the good and the bad. I would like to read this one and Woodlanders.

Irish said...

Enjoyed the review ... This is one of my favourite movies ... so I may be tempted to go out and buy the book now :)

Jeanette said...

I have not seen the movie. I am going to look for it next time I am at the library.
I'd like to read Return of the Native for my next Hardy novel. Anyone read that one?

Shelley said...

I've read Return of the Native. It's one of the more memorable ones for me. It's also one of the tragic ones.

Shona said...

I am a Thomas Hardy fan and Return Of The Native and Mayor Of Casterbridge are my all time favorites. I know he goes a little too much on nature praise sometimes but his style of writing is really unique.Hope u read those.