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Publisher's Summary

Hardy's third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, follows the story of Elfride Swancourt. The daughter of the rector of Endelstow, a sparse, sea-swept parish in Cornwall, Elfride is caught between two suitors of very different backgrounds: Stephen Smith, a young architect restoring the old parish church; and the respectable, older man of London society, Henry Knight. The blue-eyed and high-spirited protagonist must untangle the conflicting messages of her heart and her mind.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about A Pair of Blue Eyes

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Profile Image for Molly R.
  • Molly R.
  • 14-08-2017

Depressing story & unbelievable central character

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. While I realize Thomas Hardy is supposed to be one of the great writers, this wasn't my cup of tea. The story centers around an innocent girl who's not very decisive or clever. It's hard to imagine her last lover, an intellectual, really sees anything in common with her. Hardy is a master of the English language, but at times his using 20 words when 5 will do to get the point across, can tax one's patience.

What could Thomas Hardy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Create a more believable central character.

What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

Anna's performance was great. I picked the book in part based on her being the narrator.

Could you see A Pair of Blue Eyes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It could be made into a movie I suppose. The leading lady could be Anne Hathaway, with Russell Crowe playing Harry, and Jude Law playing Smith. Elfride's father could be played by Michael Caine.

Any additional comments?

I persevered because of the narrator, but was annoyed with myself for investing that much time to reach a disappointing ending.

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Profile Image for BKG
  • BKG
  • 25-02-2021

Voice Choice is questionable but Hardy is excellen

The narrator was fabulous but I cannot figure out why she chose the voice she did for Stephen, one of the main characters. it was very hard to listen to and it made me not like his character at all in a way I don't think the text intended. The book was classic Hardy and I loved it.

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  • VE
  • 13-06-2018

Memorable love story

Narrator voices each character with amazing individuality. Hardy’s characters, landscapes and suspenseful plot are brilliant.

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  • Suea
  • 30-12-2016

What a talent

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely for someone who loves beautiful descriptive writing and development of characters

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Pair of Blue Eyes?

To learn that her father did exactly as he warned his daughter of doing

What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

She's wonderful with a steady, listenable pace and distinct characterizations

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As are all of Hardy's books, this was a tradegy. I did cry at the stupid decisions the supposedly educated lover made - even for his time.

Any additional comments?

Hardy's books are gorgeous and meaty and everything I love in a story.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.