"This is the story of Tess, a naive country girl, who loses her innocence through a life changing tragedy, that threatens to ruin her chance of happiness. Probably the saddest ending of a Hardy novel."
"The bitterness felt by the central character,Jude,stems from Hardy's own experiences, and as a result displays the harsh reality of hierarchical social closure felt by those on the outside looking in."
"Although a pretty straightforward story, the central theme of this book is the resistance to modernisation by a small rural community, which essentially represents a larger societal issue of the day."
"This book differs from Hardy's instantly recognisable style. Instead of focusing on the experiences of a rural community, as in many of his other novels,the focus of this story is much more intimate."