148. The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy
The Art of the Novella
(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)
Jun. 2012, Melville House, 98 pgs
"When young Mr. Stockdale arrives in a small village to fill in for the Methodist minister, he finds himself pining for his comely new landlady. But she leads a mysterious life, keeping odd hours and speaking in hushed tones. As his love for her grows, he’s soon at the center of a hilarious high-stakes adventure, complete with slapstick, hijinks, and a marauding band of cross-dressers. And he’s forced to choose: follow his heart or his higher purpose?"
Received a new copy from the publisher's book club.
I may or may not have read "The Mayor of Casterbridge" when I was young, but seeing as I can't remember we'll go with this being my first work by Hardy. I enjoyed it thoroughly. From the Victorian era this is my favourite period of literature to read from and I found Hardy very easy and pleasant to read. This is supposedly uncharacteristic of his usual work in that it is a comedic farce rather than a dark tragedy. I really enjoyed the characters, the play between the sexes, and the minister's finding himself getting deeper and deeper into the nefarious doings. This really spurs me on to wanting to read Hardy's other work as I love dark, Gothic stories and if his other writing is this easy to read I should enjoy it very much.