I read this book at school and then again at university and conceived a profound dislike for it because of my impatience with Tess Durbeyfield as a character. In the past couple of weeks I've listened to an audiobook edition of the novel, which I've reviewed here. Thirty-five years on, my reaction to the work is much more positive, but I think this earlier rating should remain. It reflects what at the time was a valid opinion and it's a salutary reminder to me that reactions to literature are not necessarily static. Re-reading books can sometimes tell you a lot about yourself.