Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy, Hart Hardy

Poor pretty Tess is a confounding heroine. She has many admirable qualities. She is loyal, hardworking and dutiful. She is also destined to attract the wrong type of fellow. Seemingly unaware of her allure she reluctantly finds herself in heaps of trouble because of it. She is acutely sensitive to the needs of others but seems indifferent to her own well-being. Racked with guilt, she stumbles into one bad situation after another and when she finally asserts herself it proves to be her undoing. Her story is as frustrating as it is fascinating and I wish Hardy could have cut her some slack. Maybe if he had been a woman he would have.