Why did I love this book?
Comfort books for me are those you can dive into when you need to take time out from the world. I could have chosen almost any of Thomas Hardy’s books for this purpose but I love Far From the Madding Crowd with its strong, determined, but flawed, protagonist, Bathsheba Everdene. The men who court her are also finely drawn characters, each ridden by their own devils, but the one who wins her is the one who definitely deserves to triumph. Hardy uses the Wessex landscape to provide an idyllic backdrop to his dark story of love and betrayal with its many twists and turns. I remain in awe of Hardy’s skill in building plot and character while exploring timeless themes.