Jane Austen's six novels have become so commonplace that people have begun to add elements like sea monsters and porn just to keep that ball(room) rolling. Which is sad because fans of Austen would probably love moving on to the even more tragic and fatally misunderstood emotional outbursts found in Thomas Hardy's novels, Jane's thematic and spiritual progeny. Far from the Madding Crowd is a genuinely great book that mixes the authentic dialogue of rural England with brilliant insights on the human condition at large, and on love, relationships, and marriage, in particular. The book is slow to set its scene, but once it has, readers will find a love quadrangle rife with parties who mesmerize and exasperate alongside the best of Ms. Austen's creations. Who knew wiping away a bit of chalk could be such a understated declaration of love? A very good book, and this B&N ebook edition is very well edited and annotated.