Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
I once knew an essentially selfish man who thought of everything, even the people he loved, in terms of what they could do for him. And when he didn’t benefit, he could be angry and resentful and hurtful. He knew better, and he often regretted it and apologized and resolved to do better, but he never really learned how to be anything other than selfish. Even when apologizing and trying to make amends, deep down, it was about himself and his perception of himself, not about the hurt that he caused to others. Such a person is hard to love. They burn through relationships, taking and taking and taking, until even the kindest and most giving person is eventually sucked dry.
…also, I don’t think Hardy liked women much, if this novel is anything to go on.
Audiobook version, via Audible. Excellent performance by Pamela Garelick.