Just finished 'Jude' last night. I am so glad that I read all of Hardy's other novels before this one. If this was the first novel I read of Hardy I probably wouldn't be such a HUGE fan of his works. The first novel I read of his was 'Far from the Madding Crowd' which I LOVED. Then 'Desperate Measures', 'Tess' and 'Return of the Native'. I've been so in love with Hardy's writing from these novels...and then 'Jude'. Which besides 'Tess' I would say is one of his most well-known novels. There were some moments of writing that were so beautiful but then there were moments that the narration just ran on and on. I wanted some more passion from Sue the entire book and I think that was my problem. She was so uptight and thought so much of her self and her 'intelligence'. I wanted to read about Jude and Sue actually being physical but that didn't happen. They were debating getting married and then BOOM, there's 3 kids in the mix! She even couldn't stand to be touched by her legal husband Mr. Phillotson. There was just a lot of marrying and separating going on, but no divorcing. Did people really get around with each other this much in the 19th century? Seems like such a taboo thing even now so that was interesting to me that such a topic was touched on by Hardy. There were countless times I wanted to reach in and smack Arabella! She was rude from the beginning all the way until the last sentence. I hate to have such negative feelings about my favorite author but this was definitely not my favorite of his works. I did get through this beast of a book and I'm quite proud of myself. Hardy still continues to be my favorite author but I doubt I'll read 'Jude' again but I'm glad I do know the story.