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Summary

The story of Tess, daughter of a poor peddler, is one of heartbreak and sorrow, deception and indecency. When sent to live with a wealthy family, the D'Urbervilles, who are not who they appear to be, Tess endures many hardships and abuse, while trying to make a fortune with the family to whom she believes she is related to. The abuse leads to her getting pregnant by a man named Alec. Upon this discovery Tess returns home to her family, but more misfortune is set to befall her after the birth of her illegitimate child.

Back home, she is able to find work and happiness as a milkmaid, and even discovers her true love, but her secrets come back to haunt her; and Angel, her lover, cannot forgive her past. Even though they have been married, he leaves for Brazil warning her not to come after him. Her past comes back to haunt Tess after her husband leaves, and more trouble befalls her family, forcing her back into the arms of her abuser.

Angel finally returns, ready to forgive Tess, who is wrapped up in an affair she fears she will never get out of. She finally is able to do the unthinkable, but will Angel forgive her sins again? The story will take the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions and plot twists as Tess's fate is determined.

Public Domain (P)2016 A.R.N. Publications

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Profile Image for J. W. Coop
  • J. W. Coop
  • 18-08-18

Brilliant, Beautiful Novel, Wonderfully Read

I am a lifelong reader of Thomas Hardy, one of our great novelists and poets. This typically powerful novel is full of poetic description that puts the reader into the time and place of the story as few other authors can do. And Tess is a character to love, and feel deep sympathy for, as we share her epic and very personal journey. Kate Petrie is a marvelous reader, her voice full of feeling but never intruding. Her way with the various accents, of different classes and places, is wonderful. You can't go wrong with this version!

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  • Kelly
  • 06-01-20

masterful writing, readers pacing is off

Thomas Hardy writes beautiful, clever, vivid sentences that describe scenery so well that I feel I have traveled to the place. He writes characters who are rich and real, completely flawed and often completely wronged. It is obvious to me that he became friends with his characters. That they shared tea, conversed was and got to know each other well. In this book, he even gave it the secondary title: "A Pure Woman." This says so much about what he thought of Tess as a person. It says so much that he saw her as pure even though she had a child out of wedlock and lied to her beloved about her history and even about what happened to that child.

I rarely read anything that will spoil a book so I did not know the premise of this story, and did not know of the horrible events that marked Tess' life. But I had seen several people say that the book was bleak. That was the word I saw over and over again. They are right, it is bleak. It is tragic. It is shocking. And it is stunningly beautiful. Hardy explored feminism and justice (or lack thereof). He made me cry. He made me angry. And he made me excited to decide which Hardy novel I will read next.

This reader's pacing and speed were off terribly. I found myself changing my playing speed often. But the fact that she failed to pause between sentences was distracting. I am very disappointed in the recording.

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  • TobyGom
  • 07-03-19

Awful reading speed

I was choosing between different options on Tess of the D’Urbervilles and purchased this one. I could not bear listening to more than two chapters. The diction of the person who is reading the story is good but her reading speed is off! She reads in a hurry and makes no pauses between sentences so all the sentences blend in. So annoying! Money wasted.