This was last month's bookclub book. And we had quite a wonderful discussion about it. I haven't read much Thomas Hardy. In fact, I don't think I've read anything else of his. And apparently this is not one of his best novels. But it did give us lots to talk about. A Laodicean is a love story. It is about George Somerset the architect and Paula Power, a young woman who has come into ownership of the de Stancy castle. Don't worry, Captain de Stancy's is in here too.
A "laodicean" is someone who is lukewarm about something...someone who is kind of wishy-washy. This would be Paula. She can't really seem to go wholeheartedly into anything. She is a modern sort of woman but can't quite figure out what that is. She likes George but likes even more the idea of him being in love with her. In her words speaking to George, "I love you to love me."
There is much going on in this book - illegitimate sons coming around, deceptions, misunderstandings, lost telegrams. But at times I truly wanted to smack the main characters around a bit. Interestingly, Hardy got very ill in the middle of writing this story and some attribute what is lacking in the novel to his illness which I understand. I do feel a bit smarter for having read Thomas Hardy now though.