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By: (1840-1928)

Laodicean by Thomas Hardy is a complex and engaging novel that delves into themes of love, class, and marriage in 19th-century England. The story follows the protagonist, Paula Power, as she navigates the societal expectations and pressures of her time, while also grappling with her own desires and ambitions.

Hardy's writing style is elegant and descriptive, transporting the reader back to the Victorian era with vivid detail. The characters are well-developed and nuanced, each grappling with their own internal struggles and conflicts.

One of the strengths of Laodicean is its exploration of the intricate relationship between love and ambition, as Paula must choose between societal expectations and her own desires for independence and fulfillment. The novel also offers a sharp critique of the rigid class structures of the time, highlighting the limitations and constraints they impose on individuals.

Overall, Laodicean is a thought-provoking and compelling read that offers a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of Victorian society. Hardy's skillful storytelling and rich character development make this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction and classic literature.

Book Description:

The Laodicean (someone whose religious beliefs are “lukewarm”) of the title is Paula Power who bought the ancient castle De Stancy which she is determined to restore. Being of a modern frame of mind, she has the telegraph connected to the castle – and uses it all the time in the course of the story.

George Somerset is a young architect who is invited to compete for the chance of the commission to restore the castle and who falls in love with Paula.

However, the brother of Paula’s great friend Charlotte De Stancy – of the aristocratic family that once owned the castle – aided by his villainous illegitimate son, sets out to win Paula for himself.

Although Paula likes the idea of being a De Stancy, she is drawn to George from the start. The various machinations of De Stancy and his son keep the narrative moving along at a fast pace.

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