A poignant imagining of Thomas Hardy’s relationship with his last muse. A celebrated author, in the winter of his life, awaits a visit from a beautiful young actress - the leading lady in a staging of his most famous tragedy. But his wife is troubled. An anxious and sickly woman, she watches the growing intimacy between her husband and the young woman, and becomes tormented by the idea that they will betray her.
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Shadows of the dead
- Welsh Mafia
A Gentle Pleasure
'Winter' is not as compelling as many of the audiobooks I've listened to, but it quietly and gently involves you in the story. Particularly if you've read Hardy's books and/or poems or his biography, it adds an interesting perspective to a story I thought I already knew.
I really liked the scenes around the amateur production of 'Tess', and would have liked much more detail around this - lost opportunity. The scenes of the aging author in the cold, isolated house (particularly the fireside scenes where he is being read to by his second wife) were beautifully written and gave a really elegaic feel.
I wasn't keen on the narrators who voiced Hardy's third party narrative or Florence's first person one: the latter, in particular, was right for the character but so very, very irritating: if I'd been married to her, I'd have contemplated eloping with Gertie just to get away from that haranguing tone! Gertie's lovely Wessex burr was a joy to listen to, though.
No - this is better listened to small sections. I interspersed listening to the audio book with reading 'Return of the Native' again, and being able to savour and compare Nicolson's lovely descriptive writing with Hardy's own really added to my enjoyment of the audiobook.
Well worth a listen if you like Hardy's work, but maybe a bit unengaging if you're not familiar with the author.