This is the second review I have written for this book on Goodreads. My reviews are disappearing and I am finding this very frustrating.This book is about a man who through dedication and hard work becomes the mayor of a small town. Just as he reaches this position, his life begins to unravel. Mr. Henchard had sold his wife 20 years before while he was drunk. He looks for her for a while, swears he won't drink for 20 years and then begins a life without her. Then she reappears bringing his daughter and Henchard's life begins to slowly fall apart.There is much discussion about fate in this book. No matter what Henchard does, things go wrong. However, much of what happens to Henchard is directly or indirectly his fault. Is it fate that his wife reappears, causing a lot of problems for the Mayor? Or is this a result of selling his wife? He loses a lot of money in the book. Is that fate? Perhaps, but I don't think so. He gambled on the timing of the harvest and he lost the bet. Throughout the book, Henchard makes the wrong decision or takes an inappropriate action that negatively impacts his life.