The Mayor of CasterbridgeBy Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy's novels about the cruel twists of fate that blight our lives have a timeless power to move us. In The Mayor Casterbridge, a young Michael Henchard makes a rash, alcohol-fuelled decision to sell his wife. Despite abstaining from alcohol from this point forward and living an upstanding life, this lapse is a revenant that returns to plague him at the peak of his career. In his struggles to overcome his hot-headed, belligerent nature, Henchard is very recognisably human and sympathetic hero.