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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the Greenwood Tree, published 1872

Under the Greenwood Tree begins as a humorous and somewhat charming look at a simplistic group of church musicians who are about to be disbanded to make way for an organ. Along the way the story morphed into the strange and still often humorous love story between Dick Dewey and the village's new school teacher, Fancy Day. As a couple I found the pair rather mismatched but it did lead to some fun reading.
This is my first Hardy novel and I was surprised at how humorous and light the story was. It is my understanding that most of his major works are much more dark and not so happy. None the less, I found myself laughing and enjoying myself quite a bit, especially the parts with the choir, a group of men who were prone to get drunk before doing anything.
In the end I am just left wondering if Dick and Fancy could really have been happy together? She's so concerned about being modern and is a bit pretentious and he is such a simple working man. Then, of course, there is that secret Fancy is keeping from Dick...


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