Eustacia Vye is as wild and beautiful as the landscape that surrounds her grandfather’s house on Egdon Heath. Dark-haired, tempestuous, and haughty, she yearns to escape her rural corner of England, and believes that by marrying Clym Yeobright, a native of the heath just returned from Paris, she will find the romance and adventure her heart craves. But Clym’s interests run in the opposite direction—toward comfort, community, and tradition—and the young couple’s happy union soon turns miserable. When a former suitor pays a fateful visit, Eustacia must decide whether to break her vows to Clym or forego her exotic dreams forever.
One of Thomas Hardy’s most beloved novels, The Return of the Native brilliantly evokes the dangerous allure of romantic fantasies. Rich in mythological allusions yet grounded in the hard realities of nineteenth-century village life, it is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies ever told.
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