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Publisher's Summary

One of the most popular of Hardy's novels, this charming pastoral idyll is a lightly humorous depiction of life in an early Victorian rural community. Drawn from Hardy's childhood memories, it represents, he said, "a true picture at first hand of the personages, ways, and customs which were common in the villages." The story delicately balances the concerns of the Mellstock parish choir with a romance between Dick Dewy, a member of the choir, and Fancy Day, the village schoolmistress. While the choir battles for its survival against the new vicar's mechanical church organ, personal conflicts arise over the anachronistic customs of tradition.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"It bubbles with good humor and joy in living." (James Gibson, Thomas Hardy: A Literary Life)
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Customer Reviews

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By Cariola on 01-02-12

A Lighter Hardy

A charming novel set in the Yorkshire countryside, devoid of the usual darkness typical of other Hardy novels, such as Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, and others. As always, his characters are well rounded, displaying very human flaws that make them all the more endearing. Fancy Day, despite her love for Dick Dewey, can't resist flattery and a chance to show herself off; Dick himself has a bit of a jealous streak. But overall, Hardy creates that wonderful sense of community and slower-paced days that we seem to long for in our times.

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