Sunday, 21 February 2016
THE TRUMPET-MAJOR by Thomas Hardy
The plot of "The Trumpet-Major" is fantastic, with so many twists along the way that I was shocked on the last page at the outcome!
To summarise, Anne is a woman sought out by three different men... two brothers and the detestable Festus! The scenes where Festus gave chase made me laugh out loud and cringe at the annoying man's insistence!
The two Loveday brother's are the "Trumpet-Major", John and Robert (Bob), an able seaman.
Anne had her heart set on Bob before he leaves for a career at sea, and finds that he is to marry on his return. However, the woman he intends to marry, Matilda, is known by John to be not "honorable". To save his brother from a bad marriage he puts her off the marriage, and then tells Bob what he has done. Bob seeks Matilda out, but then gives up the chase and stays at the Mill to help his father - and in so doing decides that Anne is the girl for him after all.
His brother, John, is heart-broken since he had already tried to obtain Anne's hand in marriage to no avail - whilst Festus continues his pursuit.
Bob eventually gets the call back to sea (out of duty and honour - and the fact he does not really like working at the Mill), where his heart truly lies, and ends up on HMS Victory on whence Lord Nelson tragically died in the Battle of Trafalgar. Due to his bravery, he becomes a lieutenant and then, after another foolish encounter with another woman, decides to try to get Anne back! Now considering himself more worthy of her hand by his promotion.
But, unbeknownst to him, John had nearly managed to convince Anne that he was worthy of her hand after saving her from scalding water. However, when John finds out that Bob wants to secure Anne's hand he decides to let him have his go. Always thinking of what Anne might want...
Against these events, Uncle Derriman has been hiding his possessions from his nephew, Festus, and needs Anne's help to hide his precious documents.
Ultimately, who does Anne choose, and will Festus become a rich man on his Uncle's demise?
I have to admit that I did not expect the ending at all and leave you to read it to find out.
Considering that this book was published in 1880, I found it easy to read and gripping! Highly recommended and free to download via Amazon.