I had never heard of this book before and had never read anything by Thomas Hardy before and I have to say that I was so sucked into this story. I can't wait to read 'Tess' and 'Jude' next! This is not your typical love story. Bathsheba is so not faded by all the men that fall at her feet and I love that about her. Mr. Oak is such a 'in the shadows' kind of hero in the way he's constant in his feelings for her and is always there when she truly needs him. Loved the story! Definitely want more Thomas Hardy reading now!