Thomas Hardy's first published novel, Desperate Remedies is a thrilling blend of Gothic mystery and love-triangle romance.
After the untimely death of their parents, Cytheria and Owen Graye must go out into the world and fend for themselves. Cytheria's journey leads her to the dark and mysterious household of Miss Aldclyffe, a capricious and eccentric woman, who steers Cytheria into a love affair with her charismatic steward, Aeneous Manston. All is not what it seems, and Cytheria finds herself entangled in a violent web of lust, murder, deception, and blackmail.
With its beautiful and evocative scenes, along with themes of fate and class, the novel contains many traces of Hardy's signature style, and is a unique take on the Victorian 'sensation' novel.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
What members say
- Tad Davis
Anna Bentinck gives a terrific reading of this early novel by Thomas Hardy. She's becoming one of my favorite narrators.
The chapters in Desperate Remedies are organized by time - nothing unusual about that in a conventional novel. But in this one, the time covered by each chapter is announced loudly and clearly by the chapter title: The Events of Three Weeks, The Events of Ten Months, The Events of One Day: with the date and sometimes the hour of the day precisely named.
At this point it shouldn't be a spoiler to say the book has a mostly happy ending. It gets there by some of the most melodramatically thrilling plot twists Hardy ever wrote. Toward the end it becomes something of a mystery novel, with one professional and several amateur detectives on the case; and it's topped off with not one but two deathbed confessions.
A hugely enjoyable listen for me (and I hope for others as well).
4 of 4 people found this review helpful