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The Hand of Ethelberta
by Thomas Hardy | Literature & Fiction
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 1/7/2012
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by gypsysmom): permanent collection

1 journaler for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, January 07, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This book is out of print but thanks to the magic of the internet and the Espresso Book Machine I got a copy printed at McNally Robinson today. You can watch the book being printed and assembled right before your eyes. This book will be read in March or April 2012 for the Thomas Hardy reading challenge. 

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, April 22, 2012

8 out of 10

I quite enjoyed this fifth book written by Thomas Hardy. Although, If his name had not been on the title page I'm not sure I would have figured it was his. It seemed, at times, too whimsical for Hardy. There's a scene that reminded me so much of an English comedy (think Fawlty Towers) that I laughed out loud. On the other hand, there are some wonderful descriptions of scenes that, I think, could only have been written by Hardy.

Berta Chickerel, daughter of a butler, manages to rise above her station by marriage but her young husband soon dies. His mother, Lady Petherwin, treats Ethelberta to the best in life but she has to hide her humble origins. After Lady Petherwin dies Ethelberta continues to appear as a lady of quality and soon she is sought after by a number of suitors. Lord Mountclere is certainly the most noble of those but also the oldest. And it seems like he has ulterior motives for trying to win Ethelberta's hand. When Ethelberta finally gives in to his entreaties he sets the date of marriage in just a few days. Then ensues a cross-country chase by Ethelberta's father, brother and the Lord's brother in an effort to stop the marriage that is worthy of a silent film melodrama. Will they be in time to stop the marriage? Will Ethelberta stay married to Lord Mountclere? What is Lord Mountclere's shady past? The answers are in the last few chapters of the book. 

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