Winter

Winter

Book - 2015
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A November morning in the 1920s finds an elderly man in his eighties walking the grounds of his Dorchester home, pondering his past and future with deep despondence. That man is the revered novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, and Christopher Nicholson's fictionalized account of the final years of the accomplished writer's life is as engrossing as it is heartbreaking. 

The novel focuses on the true events that occurred around the London theater dramatization of Hardy's acclaimed novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles , including Hardy's hand-picked casting of the young, alluring Gertrude "Gertie" Bugler of The Hardy Players to play Tess. As plans for the play become more concrete, Hardy's interest in Gertie becomes a voyeuristic infatuation, causing him to write some of the best poems of his career. However, when Hardy's reclusive wife, Florence, catches wind of Hardy's desire for Gertie to take the London stage, a tangled web of jealously and missed opportunity ensnares all three characters-with devastating results. 

Told from the perspectives of Hardy, Gertie, and Florence, Nicholson's novel perfectly captures the often-difficult juxtaposition of fledgling hopes and the unfulfilled life. With expert insight into the struggles of both Hardy and Florence, coupled with poetic yet unassuming prose, Winter  is certainly on par with the novels of its central character.
Publisher: New York :, Europa Editions,, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781609452957
Characteristics: 269 pages

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wendybradley
Sep 20, 2017

What a beautifully written book. It is quiet, thoughtful and atmospheric. As I reader, I felt I was standing on the side of the stage, watching the action unfold. I felt the cold, the overwhelming claustrophobia of those trees, and the sense of isolation.

The character of Thomas Hardy as written by this author was unattractive - a cold, selfish and callous man. His second wife was pictured as a broken woman, and who could blame her for not being able to deal with incredibly horrid man. He may have been a gifted writer but the book hardly shows him in a good light in his old age.

buzzyants Jan 17, 2017

Loved this book.

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